Today Chhavi and I headed off to purchase the last few fabrics for our collection. We struggled to find the right fabric we wanted in black so Chhavi said we should buy the fabric we want in white and go get it dyed black, as it is a quick and easily available process.
The dying place we went to was out in the open down a street. The small room had about three men sitting low to the ground, using a piece of wood to swirl around lumps of fabric in bright, dye-filled pots.
Seeing this made me concerned about the amount of harmful chemicals that are being used to dye fabrics, not just in India but other places in the world too. If I had more time here or if I come back in the future, I would love to explore the natural dying methods used here.
This whole process was remarkably quick. I couldn’t believe it when they said our fabric would be ready in an hour! We returned after grabbing some lunch and exploring the colourful area and as promised our fabric was now jet-black. It had even almost completely dried thanks to the Dehli heat!
Beautifully coloured, dyed fabrics are such a common sight here in India. On the way home from our trip to the Taj Mahal, we drove over a bridge where we could see masses of fabrics in bright purples, reds and yellows, all laid out along the river bank drying out in the sun.
I have always had a love for colour, but I have not truly appreciated its power until experiencing India!
By Kristen Meaclem