Dyeing refers to the process of applying color onto the fabric. The techniques by which the dyes are applied differ greatly; hence, there are various methods of dyeing fabrics.
It is one of the most crucial processes done by a textile company on a fabric before it is shipped out of the mill. The process of dyeing enhances the appearance of the fabric by using colors and shades, and lends the fabric a fresh look that bleeds when washed.
Dyeing has a clear advantage over all the other processes as it can be carried out during any stage of textile production. Based on the type of garment produced, textiles are dyed as yarn, fabrics, or as garments. For this process, certain colored components called dyes are used, which are of two types, natural and synthetic. Some of the different methods of fabric dyeing are described below.
In direct dyeing, the dye is applied to the fabric directly without the need of an affixing agent. Before the application, the dyestuff undergoes fermentation in case of natural dyes or chemical reduction for synthetic vat and sulfur dyes. It is mainly used for dyeing cotton and has water-soluble properties, making it suitable to apply directly on the fiber from an aqueous solution.
Yarn dyeing refers to a method in which the yarn is dyed before it is knitted or woven into fabrics. This method is mainly used for creating patterns, stripes, and checks using different colored yarns. The dyestuff enters deep into the yarn during the process of yarn dyeing. Some important forms of yarn dyeing are skein dyeing, package dyeing, space dyeing, and warp-beam dyeing.
This method of dyeing involves the finished garments and includes clothes like T-shirts, sweaters, pantyhose, sweatshirts, and hosiery. It is incapable of use in tailored fabrics though, as the shrinkage variation can cause misshaping or distortion of the clothes. The process of garment dyeing is carried out by placing the garments together and dipping in a dye bath.
In stock dyeing, the fibers or stock are dyed prior to spinning into yarn. In this method, the loose fibers are put in a dye bath that is heated to a specific temperature. Stock dyeing is mainly used for woolen fabrics. It is used to create color effects like heather used particularly in wool fibers.
Top dyeing is similar to stock dyeing, as it is dyed before the fiber is spun into yarn. The top is the fibers of the wool, from which the tiny fibers are removed, and involves selecting the long fibers used for spinning worsted yarn. This top is dyed with dyed tops of other colors to create color effects.