Dyeing: The Art Of Breathing Life Into A Saree

Dyeing is the art of breathing life into a saree. What a beautiful oxymoron it is. We keep coming across sarees for every occasion but seldom do we actually realize the tremendous amount of thought and work that has gone into it. Before a saree becomes worthy of your occasion, no matter how big or small, it goes through a long, intricate and extensive process. In this process, dyeing easily becomes the most important stage. Only in this stage will it be decided if the saree we work on will be worn by you to work or to your wedding. As we add colour to the wonderful fabric that will be yours someday, we can’t help but think about how each colour is a reflection of your emotion.

Now, most of us know the technical details of the dyeing process, don’t we? A fabric of choice is pre-washed, soaked in fixatives, boiled in dyes and finally left to dry naturally. But are we aware of the enchanting colour combinations and the deep-seated meanings that lie behind it?

If you look closely, you will discover the fact that Sarees for each occasion comes with a preset of colours. A wedding saree in all its glory will shine in bright colours indicating a bright future. A saree you wear to work on the other hand will be in neutral hues to keep you calm and focused. Just like this, each colour and the tints they’re paired with have a different story to tell. The person who could tell these stories at best would be the immensely talented craftsman through whose hands colours mingle to come alive as a masterpiece.

The craftsman doesn’t just pour his heart into a saree. Before deciding the colour palette of a particular saree, he visualizes your big day. With each dip into the boiling dye, he tries to capture the essence of your emotion. To him, the saree isn’t just a piece of fabric. It is a reflection of your state-of-mind. It is a mark of your individuality. They say true love will always find you in the end. But maybe this applies to sarees of versatile hues too. Maybe there will always be that one saree that captures the perfect shade of your personality, waiting to be worn just by you.

Most of all, one of the most moving aspects of the dyeing process is the manner in which it embraces people from all walks of life. It doesn’t differentiate between the rich and poor. Maybe you’ve spilled a drink all over your saree, or maybe you have a special affair coming up and you just don't have the budget for a new saree. The answer to both these problems is a humble round of dyeing. Through this mesmerizing process of soaking and seeping soulful colours, even accidents tend to become beautiful.

The endless possibilities that dyeing gives birth to has made us realize one thing. Dyeing and the million hands behind it make it possible for Sarees to have a life-cycle of their own. From being repurposed for the next generation to being preserved in new tinges, this wondrous process gives us all the more reasons to be intrigued and celebrate this culturally enriching, native craft.