Trend of the Week: Reactive Dyes

Posted on September 12, 2018 by Katie Schmidt | 0 comments

Most of us have encountered reactive dyes before, even if we didn’t realize it at the time. Have you ever tie-dyed a shirt? Modern tie-dye often uses reactive dyes. Many American retailers, however, do not use reactive dyes. Reactive dyeing must be done by hand rather than by machine. At Passion Lilie, we use this ancient dyeing process to produce unique, authentic, eco-friendly clothing that resists fading. Learn more and shop our beautifully dyed products today.

Reactive dyes can be used to make everything from modern tie-dyed shirts to this Dusk Button Dress from Passion Lilie.

What Are Reactive Dyes?

Reactive dyes, also referred to as fabric reactive dyes, are dyes that chemically react with fabric. They affect the molecules of the fabric, making them a permanent part of whatever they dye. This is why they resist fading so much better than other dyes. They absorb and alter the color of fabric.

Because reactive dyes have been used on this fabric, the molecules of the fabric have been permanently changed by the dyes, making the fabric resistant to fading.

As an ethical, sustainable brand, Passion Lilie only uses natural binders and eco-friendly dyes in our reactive print paste. Tharangini Studio’s skilled artisans use a combination of ancient techniques and modern advances to produce the best results from our reactive dyeing process:

  1. First, our artisans dye the fabric its initial base color.
  2. Meanwhile, gum arabic resin crystals are fermented using a traditional recipe by soaking in water for two to three days to create a binder.
  3. Next, artisans hand block print the fabric using reactive dyes.
  4. After wrapping the fabric individually in recycled newspaper, they steam it for an entire day.
  5. Then they wash the fabric and cure it in the sun, allow its colors to develop.
  6. If any other colors are going to be added, our artisans repeat the first four steps with those colors.
  7. After they print, steam, wash, and cure the fabric, artisans remove any gum arabic residue, leaving behind a soft, beautifully printed fabric.

For more information about the methods of dyeing we use, read about our natural dyes (also known as plant- or vegetable-based dyes), eco dyes, and reactive dyes.

The Advantages of Reactive Dyes

Now that you know a little more about our reactive dyeing process, you may be wondering why we bother with such a time-consuming method. Reactive dyes come with a number of big benefits:

  • They’re more vibrant. Unlike other clothes, which become faded over time with wear and washing, reactive dyes keep their color.
  • They don’t bleed. Because reactive dyes become a part of the fabric, they don’t bleed onto other pieces of laundry.
  • They’re unique. There’s something special about handmade clothing and owning something truly one of a kind. With reactive dyeing, each piece of fabric is varied and unique.
  • They’re sustainable. The process of reactive printing is low waste and sustainable. All of the newspaper we use is recycled, and our gum arabic crystals are sourced from a sustainable grower.

Shop Passion Lilie Today

Ready to reap the advantages of reactive dyes? Shop these Passion Lilie products made with reactive dyes. Many of these popular items have limited sizes remaining in our current stock, so snag yours while you can!

Layla Organic Jersey Dress (XS)

Made using reactive dyes, Passion Lilie's Layla Organic Jersey Dress features a sophisticated stripe-on-stripe pattern that won't run or bleed when washed.

For standout sophistication, nothing beats this knit dress. Its gorgeous stripe-on-stripe pattern and starfish neckline create a one-of-a-kind look, while the soft, organic jersey cotton and side pockets offer comfort and convenience.

Triangles Shift Dress (M)

Passion Lilie's Triangles Shift Dress, pictured here, has a bold and vibrant color resulting from the reactive dyes used to make it.

Searching for something bold, yet still classy? This dress has it covered with an adventurous geometric pattern you can wear from the office to gallery openings, cocktail parties, and more.

Dusk Button Dress (L)

Made using reactive dyes, the beautiful starry pattern of each Passion Lilie Dusk Button Dress is as unique as the night sky.

Find all the comfort of a t-shirt with all the style and sophistication of a little black dress in the Dusk Button Dress. Friends, family, and even strangers will get lost gazing at its beautiful starry pattern.

Indigo Flowers Scarf

Made with sustainable reactive dyes and our reactive printing process, the Indigo Flowers Scarf from Passion Lilie makes you feel just as great as you look.

Add texture and pattern to any outfit with the Indigo Flowers Scarf. Made using reactive dyes, its rich indigo color can stand out while staying neutral for easy pairing with the rest of your outfit.

For a similar look in another pattern, check out our Indigo Dreams Scarf today. You can also shop more of Passion Lilie’s ethical apparel, read about our mission, or discover more fashion tips and trends on our blog.

Posted in Design, Dresses, Eco Dyes, Eco-Friendly, Ethical Apparel, Fabric, Reactive Dyes, Scarves, Sustainability, Trend of the Week, Women


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