Oriental Resist-dyeing Methods with Lasting Appeal

Oriental Resist-dyeing Methods with Lasting Appeal - Huedee

Tie dye is the symbol of the Hippie counterculture. For sure, tie dye was brought into the limelight by hippies, but they weren’t the creators of this fabric dyeing process. In fact, tie dye is as old as the hills! In certain parts of Asia, elaborate and labor-intensive tie-dye techniques have been practiced for centuries.

Here, we shall delve into two such tie-dye textiles – Japanese Shibori and Indian Bandhani.


Japan has a rich culture of resist dyeing. Shibori represents a slew of resist dyeing methods carried out by hand. These manual techniques contour and secure the textile before a variety of dazzling colors are used to create the inimitable patterns. The word ‘Shibori’ has its roots in another Japanese word ‘Shiboru’, meaning to squeeze, wring and compress. As the name suggests, ‘resist dyeing’ ensures certain sections of the cloth avoid the dye, resulting in eye-catching, contrasting designs. Shades of indigo are most commonly used in Shibori.

There are several different traditional Shibori techniques. Below are some famous ones:

Kanoko Shibori – This Shibori method bears some resemblance to western tie-dye patterns. Tiny, pinched sections of fabric are hand-tied with tread to produce intricate circular patterns.

Miura Shibori – In this method, a hooked needle is employed to pluck portions of the cloth which are then looped with thread. The thread isn’t tied, resulting in irregular patterns that appear like sparkling water. Since knots aren’t used, this method is less laborious and applied all the time.

Nui Shibori – Nui refers to a method of stitching where a simple stitch is run through the material, after which the threads are pulled to bunch the fabric together. The threads are tied before dipping the fabric in dyes. The end patterns are accurate and very neat.

Kumo Shibori – This is an extremely intricate method where the cloth is first folded and pleated and then tied with thread on both sides. The whole fabric becomes a bunch of binds, producing attractive, spider-like patterns.

Arashi Shibori – ‘Arashi’ in Japanese means ‘storm’, and this Shibori pattern consisting of crooked diagonal lines looks a lot like stormy seas and strong winds. In this method, the cloth is first tightly twisted around a pole and bound with threads, after which it is stained with splashes of vibrant dyes.


Bandhani, or Bandej, is an Indian tie-dyeing technique that has been nurtured by indigenous artists in Rajasthan and Gujarat for many generations. The word ‘Bandhani’ is sourced from the Sanskrit word ‘Banda’ meaning ‘to tie’.  Historical evidence indicates that this art is over 5000 years old. Bandhani garments were flaunted by royals in their marriages and other noteworthy occasions. In the Ajanta caves, many visual representations of Bandhani have also been discovered.


The process of creating Bandhani patterns is as thrilling as its history! A plain fabric is plucked at different points and tied into knots. Once this tied material is dipped in colors, the knots resist coloration and remain completely white. The bold colors use of colors, like yellow, red, blue and green, creates extraordinary patterns. Many a times, complex images are formed with a pattern of knots.

Contemporary Appeal:

Resist-dyeing techniques that transform a simple cloth into a colorful masterpiece have been practiced since the days of yore. But they are still popular, in demand and trendy! Contemporary designers are breathing new life into this fabric art, ensuring tie-dye’s influence keeps growing globally.

If you want to own some unique tie-dye clothing where traditional dyeing methods are married with contemporary designs, drop by Huedee. Our collection comprises tie dye women tank tops and halter neck tie dye top – they can definitely boost your style with trendy splashes of colors!