Dyeing the fabric means transferring the color on the textile material (yarn or final fabric.) Scholars have found mention of dyeing textiles as far back as 2600BCE. Yes, fabric dye is such an old process. Primarily, the source of dye was nature. The dyes/colors were extracted from animals or plants. Since the mid-19th century, humans have started producing artificial dyes to get a broader range of colors and also to have more long-lasting ones.
Dyes come in four forms- powders, pastes, crystals, and liquid dispersions. They all get completely dissolved in an aqueous solution like water. When the textile material is dipped into it, the dye molecules get fixed on the fibers. Basically, the dyeing process is all about absorption and diffusion. Absorption is transferring of dyes from the aqueous solution onto the fabric surface and diffusion is dyes getting diffused into the fibers. Of course, the temperature and other controlling factors play a major role. This dyeing can be either done by hand or machine. Also, different kinds of dyes are used for different types of fabrics.
For example, acid dyes are used to dye wool and silk, the basic dye is used for acrylic fabric, disperse dyes for polyester yarn and cotton can be dyed with a variety of dyes like vat dyes, direct dyes and modern synthetic reactive. The right dyeing fabric process is:
Singeing and Desizing: They are the first two steps of pre-treatment respectively. Here loose, hairy, projecting fibers and gummy materials over the fiber are removed.
Sourcing: This is done to remove the impurities over the textile material.
Bleaching: In this step, the natural color of the raw materials reduced.
Mercerizing: It is an additional step and it is done to increase the strength and luster of the material
Dyeing: Here the material is dyed into another color.
Wait, are you thinking the same what’s there on my mind? Then what’s the difference between paint and dye? When you paint a fabric, you are coating the surface of it but when you dye, you are actually changing the crystal structure of it. Well, that’s too much chemistry. For now, what is important to understand is that dyes are more saturating and permanent. The clothes dyed into colors last through many wearing and washings