Natural Dyeing Methods Used in Fabric Design!

natural dyeing methods

Fabric design is loved by all and designers experiment with different things to bring new patterns into existence. Patterns of the fabric created by natural dyeing methods are one of the major things that have kept the fashion world alive. Without them, the fashion industry would be colourless. Fabric designs and fashion designing are co-dependent and one cannot survive without the other.

There are many types of fabric patterns that are used to create trendy designs. There are many ways to create beautiful designs on the fabric and one among them in natural dyeing. Nowadays, natural dyeing is becoming increasingly popular. People are embracing it because it does not have any artificial chemicals and the use of natural dye does not have any bad effect on the skin. It is also environment-friendly, so more emphasis is put on it by the fashion industry.

To get a perfect colour on the fabric, you need to follow the method for fabric dyeing. Here are the fundamental methods of natural dyeing. Let’s have a look on them one-by-one:

1. Scouring

It is the first of the dyeing process. Fabrics and yarns that are purchased from the stores may carry some dirt, dust, coating or residue from manufacturing and transit. The residue of dirt should be removed nicely so that the dye can penetrate nicely into the fabric. Therefore, scouring is very important so that the dye doesn’t only adhere to the coating of the residue. So, in the process of scouring, the fabric is submerged in the water along with a scouring agent.

Also, the temperature of the water and the scouring agent differ according to the type of fibre you are using. Plant-based fibres like cotton and linen use soda ash or neutral soap as a scouring agent and protein-based fibres like silk and wool useorvous paste soap. You can simmer the plant-based fibers in the water for a couple of hours but protein-based fibres are sensitive to high-temperatures, therefore, they must be handled carefully.

natural dyeing scouring

Image Source- Botanical Colors

2. Mordanting

This is the crucial process of dyeing as mordants act as a bond between the fibre and the dyestuff. Mordanting is more effective if it is done before the dyeing process, but some dyers mix mordant and dyestuff in one bath. You can also dye fibres without the use of mordants, but they won’t last long and won’t be durable.Mordanting is the process of soaking the fibre in the hot water along with diluted mordant for at least an hour. To get a better result, many dyers let the fibre soak in the water along with the mordant overnight. Some of the common mordants are alum which is used to yield bright, potent colours, copper is used to gettinggreener and brown tones, tannin is used for muted tones and iron is used to get dark and blacker tones.

natural dyeing mordanting

Image Source- Martha Stewart

3. Dyeing

Dyeing is the most fun part. Powder and extract dyes are kept ready in the concentrated form and are ready to be used at any time. Also, other ingredients like fresh plants, insects, fruits, roots, etc. need a considerable amount of time for preparation. After dye materials are ready to use, you choose the technique of dyeing according to you. You can use the general submersion technique if you want solid and even colour. For different types of shades and patterns, you can use ombre dyeing, bundle dyeing, dip dyeing, etc.

natural dyeing

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There are certain pros and cons of natural dyeing. Let’s throw some light on them.

Pros of the Natural Dyeing Methods

Minimal Environmental Impact

Firstly, natural dyes are obtained from natural sources, they are considered eco-friendly and are not harmful to the environment and this attracts a large number of consumers. Natural dyes are easily biodegradable and can be disposed of easily without causing pollution.


Also, Natural dyes are renewable and can be harnessed from natural resources without posing any harmful burden on the environment.

Colour Pay-off

If you are looking for soft-hue and soothing pastel colours, you can opt for natural dyeing as they help to achieve that look.


Using natural dye is safe. It doesn’t have any side-effect on the skin and health. Therefore, it is loved by many and most consumers prefer it.

Cons of the Natural Dyeing Methods


The cost of natural dyeing is more as compared to synthetic dyeing. For instance, if you need to dye a pound of cotton you may need 200 grams of natural dye whereas you may only need 5 grams of synthetic dye.


The colour shades obtained from the natural dyeing process is not permanent. They tend to fade off after some time which makes them less appealing.


Another problem with natural dyes is that it is not easily available. Raw materials like plants, spices, etc. are not available in every season, whereas, synthetic dyes can be produced all year round.

natural dyeing process

Image Source- Rebecca Desnos

As natural dyeing puts less burden on the environment and is generally considered eco-friendly, it has great demand in the market. It also has no adverse impact on the skin, therefore it is loved by all. People have a misconception about dyeing, that it is a complex skill and hard to learn but that’s not the case. Thus, to master this skill, you just need to be consistent. Hunar Online Courses offers a Fabric Designing Course where you can use your creative skills and create different fabric designs for different occasions. You can enrol in our Online Fabric Designing Courses. It has easy video classes which are accessible every time and you can learn from anywhere. You also get 24/7 faculty support which will help you clear your doubts. So, what are you waiting for? Join Hunar Online Courses and start paving a new path to your career.

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