7 Methods Of Dyeing Fabric

July 6, 2023

Fabrics are treated with different chemicals with different fabric dyeing methods to optimize quality. Read more about it here.

Dyeing is the process of adding color to yarn, fabric, or garment at different stages of production at different physical conditions (such as temperature) and durations to get a desired color on a garment. It differs from printing on fabric because printing is used to create color patterns on localized areas of fabric.

Dyeing uses a dye (natural or synthetic) mixed with a chemical to stain fabric. Many dyes form chemical bonds with the fabric threads, while some are absorbed by the threads. They can permanently stain textiles or can wash them off with time, depending on the kind of fabric and dyeing method that has been used to stain. The following section discusses different fabric dyeing methods.


Methods Of Dyeing Fabric

Direct Dyeing

Direct dyeing involves submerging the fabric into a dye dissolved in water. Some salt solutions are also added to increase the solubility of the dye in water. Direct dyes are also called substantive dyes because of their substantive relationship with both natural and synthetic fibers, i.e., the dyes have a chemical attraction to fiber, which makes for a smooth dyeing process.

This fabric dyeing method is one of the most straightforward ways to stain textiles. The only physical condition that has to be maintained is high temperature, and dissolving the dye in hot water accomplishes that.

Speck Dyeing

Woolen fabric and clothes are usually treated using this method. Any color faults on the fabric are corrected using special dyes on the faulty spots. The aim is to eradicate any uneven colored specks on the textile that may affect its value in the market.


A person holding a tie-dye shirt.

Stock Dyeing

The stock fabric dyeing method is not technically used for staining fabric. It is used to color the fiber threads which are spun into yarn in a textile mill. Stock dyeing is one the most stubborn dyes that don’t leak easily since it is absorbed by the fiber early in the textile production process.

Bale Dyeing

Bale dyeing is a recent and advanced spin on stock dyeing. As the name suggests, this method is used to dye bales of fiber  ̶  multiple fibers wound together  ̶  and passed through a machine where they are introduced to the dye. This method is time-efficient and can be used for all artificial fibers.

Beam Dyeing

Beam dyeing is done through mostly automated means today. This process involves passing fiber bales through a beam that seeps dyes. Both the bales and the beam are kept in an enclosed high-pressure vessel which allows the beam to stain the bale a dye, resulting in a uniform dyeing job.

Top Dyeing

If stock or bale dyeing is done before the fiber is spun into yarn, this fabric dyeing method stains fabric after it has been spun into yarn. Most textile mills that dye fabric use this method.

A person’s hands stained with indigo dye.


Batik Dyeing

Batik dyeing is as close a dyeing method gets to printing as possible. This is an ancient technique that was used to spot dye textiles before commercial printing. The method used wax to prevent dyeing the fabric on certain parts resulting in different patterns of stains. Batik dyeing is still used in some parts of the world and has recently seen a resurgence in popular culture.

Types Of Dyes

According To The Fabric Type

Different types of fabrics are treated with different dyeing methods. For example, one can’t use the same dye for wool and cotton, expecting similar results. Wool is a protein fiber that works best with certain dyes, while cotton is a cellulose fiber that works best under other fabric dyeing methods.

Other Dyes

Dyes commonly used to color fabrics are acidic, azo, reactive, mordant, natural, indigo (the first natural dye discovered by man), etc. All these dyes have chemical properties that allow them to stain textiles at different stages of production.


Garment manufacturers may or may not dye fabric in-house. There are dyeing houses that can color textiles for you. They dye everything from textiles to manufactured garments. As a designer, if you want your manufacturer to come up with dyeing sources for you, make sure to include those requirements in the tech pack.

We are a women’s wear, activewear, and handbags fashion manufacturers in Los Angeles that aids designers in creating fashion lines by giving them all the tools needed for garment production. From the sourcing of fabric to its processing and garment production, our associates help you at every single step. Contact apparel manufacturing companies now to set up an appointment.




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