8 Steps of Handloom Dyeing & Weaving

Posted on October 19, 2014 by Katie Schmidt | 0 comments

When I was in India this summer, I met with a new group of handloom weavers who live in a little village that looks like a small plot of land in the middle of nowhere on Google Maps.

I spent a full day there absorbing the unique process of tie and dye also called ikat fabric

  1. Several rows of yarn are stretched out through the length of a house. This length is approximately 10 meters and will create 24 meters when woven.                                                                                                             Hand loom weaver draws the design.
  2.  The designer draws lines across the yarn to indicate the design.
  3. Rubber bindings are placed on the yarn according to the markings of the designer. These bindings will resist the dye.Hand loom weavers dyeing the threads.
  4. The yarn is then dyed with the initial base color.
  5. The bindings are removed.
  6. The yarn is stretched out on poles in the sun to dry. Sun is very important in this process.Hand loom weavers putting the threads to dry.
  7. If a second or third color is used in the design, then steps 1-6 will be repeated.
  8. Once the yarn is completely died and dry. The yarn is placed on cones and on the loom. It takes 32 cones of yarn to make 24 meters. Hand loom.

There are two kinds of looms- a manual and an electric. Manual takes 16 hours and electric about 12 hours to spin 24 meters. The design process takes about 5 hours and the dying and drying process can take another 1-3 days for 24 meters. Once the loom has been spun, the 24 meters of fabric are ready!  

Hand loomed blue fabric.

A sneak peek of an intricate design for the Spring/Summer 2015 collection.

Posted in Fabric, India


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