OUR DYEING

We predominantly use cotton fabrics or yarn (in the case of handloom) for dyeing. Other natural fibers like jute,wool, silk, hemp and linen can also be used.

The process of making Vastra clothing starts with the 100% pure organic cloth and passes through several stages of treatment before becoming colorful and ready to wear. No machines are involved in the dyeing process .More importantly, no chemical additives are added to prepare the cotton fibers for spinning and weaving and no chemical finishes are applied to enhance its appearance.

Every step in the preparation of Vastra clothing is carefully and precisely controlled.  Most of the herbs are procured locally and some regionally and are wild-crafted or organically grown.

Around 200 herbs are used for making various types/colors of Vastra clothing. Each color is produced from a preparation  that typically contains one or more pre-dominant plant/herb(like Turmeric in our Turmeric clothing) along with  40 or more others, that are specifically blended and carefully prepared medicinal herbs, plants, flowers, roots and barks.

Different processes are followed depending on whether raw woven fabric or yarn is being dyed. For handloom, the process starts with the cotton yarn and goes through a process named de-sizing to remove loose particles, debris etc.

STAGES

Bleaching

The selected fabric or yarn is first bleached using a preparation based in cow urine. Our cows pasture naturally and also feed on 3 different types of medicinal grass. Cow urine is used along with milk , honey, etc in many preparations for cleansing /purifying rituals(Bathing the Idols of Hindu gods in such preparations is a common practice). The fabric or yarn is also exposed to direct sunlight as part of the process.

Gumming

To make the colours bright and fast a number , we use a proprietary gumming process before dyeing that includes plants like Lodhra (Symplocos racemosa), Kenduka (Diospyrose ebenum), and fruit extracts of Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) etc . Each color/dye requires its unique blend of over 40 herbs/plants for gumming as well as synergizing the health/wellness benefits.

Medication (Dyeing)

The organic cotton yarn or fabric is then medicated in a carefully controlled mixture of herbal medicine preparations called Kashayas(meaning concoctions) depending upon the health/wellness benefits sought. The word medication is used instead of dyeing because here the medicinal plants/herbs themselves give natural color to fabrics.

The temperature of the concoctions, the duration and number of the medicinal soaks, the blend of herbs and the equipment are carefully used in a controlled manner. The medicated/dyed cloth is allowed to cool and repeatedly washed to remove any loose particles and is always dried in shade.

Finishing

In this type of dyeing, finishing is done by sprinkling pure water on the cloth and then stretching under pressure, using hand rolls, aloe vera, castor oil etc.

Curing/seasoning

The dyed fabrics then go through a seasoning process of 2 weeks or more before they are ready for use(tailoring).

Effluent Treatment

The entire process is organic. It does not pollute the environment like synthetic dye. And the waste is used as bio manure and also to generate bio gas.

 

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