Writer : Editor Team
Tie dyeing refers to a set of ancient dyeing techniques used universally. Thailand and its Southeast Asian neighbors –Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Myanmar– all inherited the techniques from India, though each has refined the processes in their own unique ways, and their products are known by different names. Japan and China also have their own tie-dyeing techniques, so does Mexico, located half the world away.
At present, more than 200 tie dyeing patterns can be seen at the Bang Sai Royal Folk Arts and Crafts Center, which has branches all over Thailand. The country also is home to various organizations that work relentlessly to study and improve the quality of fabrics, textiles, and patterns used in tie-dyeing, including the Queen Sirikit Department of Sericulture, Thailand Textile Institute, and National Science and Technology Development Agency. These organizations have helped create various techniques to improve tie dyeing products, such as fabrics that do not get wet and antimicrobial textiles. Progress has also been made to produce eco-friendlier products and create smaller woven silk which is more in line with consumer demands.
Tie-dyeing silk is a cultural product that has captured the attention of designers across the globe, a success following collective efforts taken by several organizations, including the SUPPORT Arts and Crafts International Center of Thailand (public organization), which has featured tie dyeing silk in its Innovation Craft Award. The silk was a product by Thai designer, Krit Yensukjai, from Mae Fah Luang Foundation under Royal Patronage, who created winter clothing items from Thai fabrics. Just as important was the role of the Department of International Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce, which has encouraged new designers to create their collections using tie-dyeing silk. The silk has been developed further into products as couches, lamps, bags, shoes, necklaces, and earrings. Another accomplishment that presented tie-dyeing to a global audience was the showcase of Thai silk and tie-dyeing products on 15 June 2018 by international brands including Sirivannavari, Todd’s Jimmy Choo, and Kate Spade. It was there that a whole new image of tie-dyeing was created, where its several-hundred-year journey was made known to the world.