Himalayan Eco Printing and Dyeing at Uttarakhand

Posted by samaun The Himalayan Treasure on

Himalayan Eco Printing and Dyeing at Uttarakhand

Eco printing and eco dyeing are two methods for direct contact printing which involves the extraction of plant pigment to create interesting patterns on a number of fabrics like cotton, wool, linen or silk. In eco printing the dye is created by making use of various parts of the plants such as leaves, stems, flowers and so on. The impressions given by flowers and leaves on the surface of the fabric gives it a real unique appearance. The natural pigments of flowers, leaves and other plant parts come in a number of colours which greatly depends on the time of the year. Thanks to a number of government and private initiatives, in Uttarakhand you will be able to come across a number of sustainable livelihood opportunities for women who make use of the local flora to create fabrics of extraordinary beauty.

Eco dyeing is a process which isn’t as easy as it looks and demands a lot of finesse on part of the printer. Each and every eco printed fabric you will find in Uttarakhand are absolute unique where no two pieces are similar. There are a number of organizations in various districts of Uttarakhand which have created opportunities for the rural women to make a sustainable contribution to the villages. All the materials they use for eco printing such as tints, fabrics, garments or dyes are locally scoured. The rural artisans of Uttarakhand who cultivate the materials and creates the end product mostly come from the Bora Kuthalia community and the Johari Shauka community.

The process of eco printing

floral eco printing on shirt from uttarakhand

To begin with the fabric is thoroughly washed with soap water and eco dyed by making use of natural colours. The process of mordancy involves the soaking of the fabric in various natural solutions like tea, indigo etc. Once the fabric is dyed it is spread out and sun dried. The sun also has a major role to play in the entire process of eco printing and a cloudy day can totally mar the appearance of the fabric. Once the fabric has been dyed and dried is it all ready for eco printing. The leaves and flowers are rolled lightly on the fabric in a way which would ensure that that they come in contact with the cloth fibre. Once the pattern has been imprinted the fabric has to be steamed or boiled for a few hours depending on the kind of flora being used. The steaming and boiling gives the print a more diffused look. It needs to be mentioned in this content that eco printing is done best on fabrics like silk and wool.

Eco Printed and Eco Dyed Products from Uttarakhand

eco printed scarf from uttarakhand

In Uttarakhand you will be able to select from a number of eco dyed or eco printed textiles ranging from shawls and stoles to scarves and dupattas. The hand woven and eco dyed stoles and shawls which are available in silk, wool and linen are extremely elegant to look at. They can come in a number of colours such as blue, pink, mauve, green and other pastel shades. A lot of effort goes into the making of each item, which explains the high price tag of the products.

Wrapping it up

In Uttarakhand the artisans only use 100% organic substances to create the fabulous dye and prints on a wide range of fabrics. Uttarakhand is the pristine Himalayan state where you’ll find the most exotic species of floras. This surely explains the vivid colour and charm of the eco printed fabrics. More and more environment conscious people of our time are switching over to eco printed fabrics. The use of organic substances in this form of printing is what differentiates them from synthetic printing which involves the use of a lot of chemicals. Eco dyed and printed fabrics are absolutely chemical free so it is never going to pose any risk to people with sensitive skin issues.  


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