Tea Silk Dyeing: The Expert’s Way

Tea As an Organic Dye

Did you know, apart from being used in making nice beverages, Tea leaves can be used as an organic dye for textiles, mainly for silks.

Kathrin von Rechenber Tea Silk Fabric

I didn’t know until I explored the amazing art of textile dying using tea. A complicated dying process makes a unique and precious tea silk fabric. Fashion designer Kathrin von Rechenberg is making her mark in a male dominated industry through producing finest quality hand dyed tea silk. While much of Chinese fashion world is obsessing about big brands such as Gucci, Louise Vuitton and Chanel, Kathrin von Rechenberg has embraced an ancient art of tea silk dyeing to produce trendy fashionable wear.

Munich born Kathrin traveled to China in search of a very special fabric called tea silk which became her signature fabric when she founded her own designer label. Since then, tea silk has been the identity of The Rechenberg Couture.

The Dyeing Process:
Kathrin’s store follows a long process of dyeing the fabric and hence her label produces very best kind of dresses for women.

The regular procedure adopted by many silk dyeing units and production houses is as follows:

Tea Silk in Dark Cinanmon - Image courtesy - http://www.rechenberg.cn

Tea silk dyeing starts with procuring right kind of neutral color silk, that has no mixing. It is very important for the dyeing process that the silk is one hundred percent pure. Any mixing of synthetic yarn can bring a lot of color difference. The fabric is sent to the dyeing center where it is hand dyed using tea leaves and twigs. Depending on the requirement, the fabric is repeatedly dipped into yam root dye solution.

After dyeing, the fabric is then left under the sun, in a grass field. The grass keeps it from touching the hot earth directly. The drying process is repeated as many as 20-30 times. The sun gives dyed fabric a nice and permanent color. The process may take longer time depending on the weather.

The fabric is then soaked in red mud extracted from the river. After this fabric is dried again. The fabric is washed thoroughly after drying. Washed fabric is again dried and now it looks dark on one side and rusty red on another side.

Now the fabric is sent to the tailors for creating beautiful dresses.

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Behind the Scene: Indigo Shibori in Making

Latest from DesiCrafts workshop – Indigo shibori hand dyed fabrics were made. Planning to use them and many others for making new pillow covers for our pillow section.

Hand dyed Indigo Shibori by DesiCrafts

Hand dyed Indigo Shibori by DesiCrafts

Very soon you will witness pillow covers made of these beautiful hand dyed fabric pieces.

Hand dyed Indigo Shibori by DesiCrafts

Hand dyed Indigo Shibori by DesiCrafts – Assorted set of Indigo dyed fabris

Hand dyed Indigo Shibori by DesiCrafts - Assorted set of Indigo dyed fabris

Hand dyed Indigo Shibori by DesiCrafts – Assorted set of Indigo dyed fabris

The Killing of River Luni

As published in Tehelka Magazine, Volume 9 Issue 35, Dated August 27, 2012. Reports Tehelka jouranist Prakhar Jain

A Rs 5,000 crore textile industry is leaching a desert river in Marwar with chemicals, even as the ground water for villagers plummets.


The color of the river Luni has turned Blue due to contamination that is mostly Indigo dye

In the desert town of Balotra, around 110 km from Jodhpur in Rajasthan, the dry bed of river Luni looks like a bluish-green carpet that stretches beyond the horizon. However, the greenery is not because of vegetation or trees, it is caused by the dyes and chemicals that are discharged from the textile-processing hub located in the region.


RIver Luni in Rajasthan is dying a slow death due to pollution done by local textile industry

The town of Balotra, In Rajasthan’s Barmer district, is known for its textile industry that is engaged in processing the fabric used in making gowns, petticoats and lining material for thin clothes. The units supply textiles across India and to many west-African and neighbouring countries of India. The industry processes more than 1,800 million metres of cloth every year. But over the past few years, the town is gaining notoriety for the coloured riverbed of Luni.
According to the people of the town, the river last flowed with natural rainwater in the 1990s. After that, because of successive droughts, it has never seen any water apart from the effluents discharged in it by the textile units of the town.

River Luni originates in the Pushkar valley of the Aravalli Range, near Ajmer, where it is known as Sagarmati. It then flows southwest, to the Marwar region, entering a patch of desert, before disappearing into the marshes of the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat.


Textile manufacturing in process in Rajasthan.

Bleeding chemistry (L to R) A worker pours dye for printing; laying out the dyed fabric to dry; water, treated in the CETPS, is still stained with dye

Elders of Balotra remember farmers growing crops on the banks of the river using tube-wells. Narayan Chelaji (44), a farmer, says, “We used to grow wheat and bajra in our farms, but the water level has gone down, from 20 ft in the past to more than 200 ft. Now, we are dependent on the seasonal rains for whatever little we want to cultivate. Else, nothing grows here.”

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Alert : New Look of Our Website

Hello there!

Happy New Year to all of you 🙂

Yes, we admit…We admit that we change our website too often and this is one of those times when we announce the new look of our website.

Despite of the last re-do of our website, we realized that it was still pretty slow and we decided it is the time to move when we started receiving complaints from the customers about orders not going through, website too slow to operate etc.

So we analyzed many service providers and finally moved to a better and faster platform to serve you better.

Now DesiCrafts website is:

Faster – The website load time has decreased wonderfully and thanks to CDNs we are able to deliver you our content faster, no matter what is your location on this earth {pretty awesome, we know :D}

Smoother – New platform ensures that while you place an order, it goes smoothly and the registration process is easy for you.

Interactive – Now we have made it even more easier for you to share your favorite products with your friends and family. On each product page, you get ‘Pin it’, ‘Facebook like’, ‘Tweet’, and ‘Google+’ button for easy sharing. The website works really nice on iPad, iPhone and Android devices.

Blog – Yes, this time we have integrated a Desi blog too! Now its easy to get on the Desi Bandwagon – join our blog here http://www.desicraftshop.com/blogs/desicrafts , comment and share the DIY and awesome blog pieces.

So, the work is still on and here is a sneak-peek of what we’ve been up to. We’ll be adding a wide range of products very soon. Keep visiting, surprise yourself!

Indian Silk Fabrics - Variety available at www.desicraftshop.com

Indian Silk Fabrics – Variety available at http://www.desicraftshop.com

We tried multiple banners and work is still on!

We tried multiple banners and work is still on!

DesiCrafts New Wesbite

Recently we redesigned our website and moved to a faster platform to serve you better.

FlipBoard Subscribers Promotion : Surprise Gift Giveaway Ended

DesiCrafts Blog - Block Printed Indian Cotton Fabrics

Dear Friends on Facebook, Blog, Website and at Social Media Platforms,

A very happy new year to all of you 🙂

Last month, we have launched a surprise giveaway for the early subscribers of our FlipBoard. Last month we received six enthusiast readers who claimed their surprise gifts.

We would like to announce that the FlipBoard Subscriber Promotion Giveaway is over now and subscribers who have confirmed their addresses, will receive their gifts soon.

Those who were not able to participate in this giveaway are requested to keep visiting our Facebook and Blog to stay informed about the latest giveaway.

Thank you so much for being part of DesiCrafts
Have a lovely 2014 🙂

Yarn Bombing Around the World

Liked this post so much that we are forced to copy and paste it as it is.  The original post appeared here: http://www.artfire.com/nosh/yarn-bombing/


Learn how to yarn bomb!

Knit & Crochet public art

Everything you need to get started, including tutorials and supplies!

This entry is brought to you thanks to the wonderful Lisa Roden.

First, you need the inspiration.  Find some awesome pictures of yarn bombing all around the country in this fabulous Pinterest board.  Just click on the image.

Learn a plethora of yarn bombing ideas and stitch patterns from this fabulous Pinterest board!

Learn a plethora of yarn bombing ideas and stitch patterns from this fabulous Pinterest board!

“How do I even choose what I want to yarn bomb?” you may be asking yourself, well click on the image below for some great tips & tutorials.

Learn important tips and tricks about yarn bombing from this tutorial.

Learn important tips and tricks about yarn bombing from this tutorial.

Perhaps you’d like to do some light reading about the subject before you go out and “bomb” the streets, well there’s something for you too.

Read about yarn bombing from the pros who do it on the daily. Patterns included!

Read about yarn bombing from the pros who do it on the daily. Patterns included!

Learn more about Yarn Bombing from this video interview of Ishknits – the Philly Bomber!

Ishknits about to Yarn Bomb an out-of-order public phone.

Ishknits about to Yarn Bomb an out-of-order public phone.

Now that you know all about yarn bombing it’s time for you to get started.  Lucky for you, ArtFire has a great variety of instructional books & materials for incredibly low prices. Check some of them out below,  just click on the images.

Heaven for Crafters and Art Lovers – Dakshinachitra

Dakshinachitra is one of those must see places that you can’t afford to miss if you are on a trip to South India. Situated in the town of Muttukadu, Dakshinchitra is about one hour drive from south of Chennai and about two hours drive from north of Pondicherry. Although there is nothing much to see and visit in Muttukadu but Dakshinchitra makes it special. If you plan your trip well, you can actually get a chance to participate in an interesting craft workshop or meet some great artists during your visit to Dakshinchitra.

In the month of August 2013, Vastra Utsav (textile festival) was organised by the friends of Dakshinchitra. Many artisans participated and sold their creations during this festival. The Vastra Utsav witnessed good gathering from Indian and international art lovers.


Performing arts – folk dances and musicals, puppetry Image

Virudhu 2013 – permormance by Lakshmanan Peruvannan


A closeup shot of the artist


Dance performance by the local tribes on the occasion of Onam (South Indian New Year) The festival Onam is celebrated to thank god for another year of good crops, happy life and good luck for everyone.


Puppetry workshop by Master Puppeteer – Bhaskar Kogga KamathImage

Puppetry workshop by Master Puppeteer – Bhaskar Kogga Kamath


Painting exhibitions are organised very often


An instructor at Sanjhi Paper art workshop at DakshinchitraImage

A peacock made using Sanjhi paper art

Visit Dakshinchitra website: http://www.dakshinachitra.net/

Image credits: Dakshinchitra facebook page