How we make our natural dyes

The forests of Munnar are our paintbox, giving us a palette of colors to choose from in our dye-making processes. We create dyes from eucalyptus, Nilgiri kozha (eupatorium), tea waste, pine cones and other leaves, petals, roots and bark harvested from the forest floor minutes away from our workshop.

We source indigo from South India, lac from Jangir Champa, and myrobalan, an extract of a yellow flowering tree, from traditional medicine shops in Coimbatore. We also import cochineal from Canada.

How we dye our fabrics

At Aranya Naturals we work with designers to make saris, stoles, shirt fabric, and dye a variety of yarns and fabrics in cotton and silk; as well as jute, hemp, bamboo, and pashmina wool.

Our artisans marry the artist’s eye with fine craftsmanship to create naturally dyed fabrics that bring designers’ visions to life.

BATIK

Our artisans are skilled at batik, the Unesco protected heritage art of dyeing that is now practiced in just a few countries in the world. We make batik designs using a wax resist dyeing process, which involves block printing wax onto fabric to create beautiful one-of-a-kind handmade pieces.

TIE AND DYE

Using this method, Aranya’s artisans carefully fold and secure the piece of fabric with strings. Portions of the fabric are covered in polythene so that only the exposed parts absorb the dye. We use this method to make patterns on saris and stoles.

SHIBORI

In this traditional Japanese art, cloth is twisted, compressed, stitched, folded or capped to created unique designs. There are several different Shibori techniques and our dye masters select the one they will use based on the fabric they are working with and the design they envision.

BLOCK PRINTING

Block printing is a heritage craft in which intricately carved wooden blocks are dipped in dye and pressed on to cloth by hand to produce patterns. At Aranya, hand block printing makes each piece unique, creating singular patterns unobtainable by machines.

MORDANT PRINTING

This technique uses various fixative substances called mordants to set natural dyes on to natural fabrics, particularly silk and wool. Depending on the fabric, each piece is treated with mordants like alum before, during or after it is dyed.

We dye a variety of fabrics

What we can do for you

Because every piece at Aranya is handmade by our talented artisans, we have no lower limit for our orders. We can make 2 to 200 metres per order, but because so much care goes into each piece, time is the most essential ingredient we need to create products of the highest standard.

These are the approximate capacities for each of our services:

Dyeing Yarn

Cotton …………….. 200 kg / month

Silk …………………. 30 kg / month

Wool ……………….. 30 kg / month

Dyeing Fabric

Cotton …………….. 200m / week

Silk …………………. 200m / week

Dyeing techniques

Batik Printing …………….. 200m / month

Shibori ……………………… 50m / month
(Japanese Tie & Dye)

Stitching work ……………. 100 pieces / month
(Cushion covers)