Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Space Dyeing Techniques

Space dye refers to yarn with multiple colors printed on each strand which may or may not repeat after a fixed interval.

The space dyed are used to produce beautiful effects after knitting, weaving ,decorative stitching or embroidery. The colored band pattern and their length depends upon the desired effect.

There are five basic processes used to create this effect:
Space dyeing in package form
Various package dyeing machines , with a single package dyeing capacity are available in which we can dye up to 8 colors , each color is having a different feed tank as well as injector pump . The color is injected at a fixed place at high pressure and collected through vacuum .
This type of machine is used to create beautiful patterns of dyed patches on packages , with good sharpness .The dyed time is extremely low . The packages are taken for further color fixation and washing in another set of machines such as autoclave and yarn dyeing machines.
Click for image

Space dyeing in hank form
This is a simpler process to produce tie dye effects in the knitting yarns and embroidery threads.

The process which can be employed are,
a. By spraying the colors on a layer of hanks at fixed places , which is forced through hanks with pressure and collected underneath by vacuum. The yarns are the dried , and cured for color fixation and the washed.
b. The roller dyeing machines can be used very effectively for space dyeing with vat and naphthol colors. Even reactive dyeing is also possible with a slight modification of machine for mercerized cotton as well as rayon.

Space Dyeing Using Naphthol dyes on Roller Dyeing Machine

c. Package dyeing machine with fiber carriers can be used for space dyeing in polyester hanks , but the method involves a higher labor cost. But desired effects can be obtained with this method.

Watch video of the Multi color space dyeing machine

The yarn printing process or The warp system

In the warp system, multiple strands of yarn are continuously printed at spaced intervals with different colors. These yarns usually have “long” spaces of each color. Typical color lengths are 3”–7” .

The knit-de-knit process
In the knit-de-knit process, the yarn is first knitted into a tubular fabric (sock), dyed to a solid color and then overprinted with up to seven different colors. The socks are then de knitted , producing contrast effect of overprinted and base colors , because the overprinted colors do no penetrate at the yarn crossing points. These yarns usually have “short” (1/8”–1/4”) spaces of color.

The continuous dye process.
In the continuous dye process, yarn is dyed as singles or plied yarn and color is applied either by air jet or dye troughs. This process allows for yarns to have either long or short spaces of color .

useful links in space dyeing are :-

Tie and Dye
What is tie-dye Read
Bandhani-Indian Tie and Dye

Dyeing Method
Method of dyeing by hand in which coloured patterns are produced in the fabric by gathering together many small portions of material and tying them tightly with string before immersing the cloth in the dyebath. The dye fails to penetrate the tied sections. After drying, the fabric is untied to reveal irregular circles, dots, and stripes. Varicoloured patterns may be produced by repeated tying and dipping in additional colours. This hand method, common in India and Indonesia, has been adapted to machines.
For any clarification of space dyeing of yarn in hank form please mail at
Comparative study of tie dye methods


  1. The information is very useful , but i want to know about the dyeing of viscose rayon hanks in multicolors , waht type of machinery is most suitable for this purpose. since most of the space dyed rayon thread is hand dyed and lot size is very small.

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