What is a yarn-dyed fabric?

When you look at different options, you may start wondering why some fabrics are unique and have different looks than others. The thing is that this factor not only stops just at colors but the fabric can also differ. You should have proper knowledge that applying different dyeing methods and procedures can change the outcomes in terms of clothes’ types, colors, and characteristics of the fabric as well.

One such thing is yarn-dyed fabric and as soon as you hear this term, you may start wondering, What is yarn-dyed fabric? How do yarn-dyed fabrics differ from normal fabrics? How do you dye yarn naturally?

What is a yarn-dyed fabric

Just continue reading this article till the end and you will have all the necessary information about yarn-dyed fabrics and how they are manufactured and used by industries and people around the world.

What is yarn fabric?

A yarn fabric is any synthetic or natural fabric that is made using strands of different fibers knitted or woven together. These yarns are usually made using filament, fibers, or any other material that can be of different sizes and diameters. These changing factors result in fabrics of different types.

What is the yarn-dyed fabric?

Yarn dyed fabric School Check

The whole definition and explanation are in the name “yarn-dyed fabric” itself. Usually, the fabric is colored or dyed after it has been woven and a big piece of cloth has been produced. The yarn-dyed fabric is one where yarn is given a specific color before it is woven as a garment.

The yarn dyeing process is done after thorough planning, engineering, and a great deal of time because the color will form the design in the end.

The yarns are dyed in a proper pattern and the most popular of them include gingham check, dobby cloth, and some unique plaids. This technique is mostly used to create designs in scarves and related fabrics however it is practiced in large-scale garments as well.

What is Japanese yarn-dyed fabric?

The Japanese yarn-dyed fabric differs a bit as they add one yarn of red color in its selvage commonly known as “Joker” thread. This thread or yarn is added in such a way that it brings out design and patterns in a unique manner.

The Joker thread is the part that gives the fabric its unique texture and dimensions for each piece.

What is piece-dyed fabric?

Any normal fabric that is manufactured as a white or another plane color and then the designs and patterns are added using dyes is known as piece-dyed fabric.

A whole long piece of fabric is dyed in a single place, with the same design throughout before it is cut short to the size of a dress or suit. A fabric roll is probably the best example because this whole roll is dyed as a single piece after the fibers are woven but not cut in small sizes.

Is yarn-dyed fabric good?

There is no difference in terms of fabric quality because it will mainly depend on the type of yarns used in the fabric. However, as far as color or dye is concerned, yarn-dyed fabrics are extremely great and way more efficient than piece-dyed fabrics.

The thing is that colorfastness in yarn-dyed fabrics is quite high and there is a minimum to no chance of getting the color of fabric transferred to any other fabric. Also, the color may take an eternity to lose its charm and shine.

What type of fabric is yarn-dyed?

As said earlier, the type of fabric doesn’t differ in any regard but the dyeing time and procedure are what differentiates yarn-dyed fabric from normal piece-dyed fabrics. In simple words, any fabric that is dyed before being woven while it is in the form of yarn is known as yarn-dyed fabric no matter if it is cotton, linen, polyester, or any other fabric.

What is the yarn-dyed fabric used for?

Yarn-dyed fabrics are widely used for manufacturing garments such as scarves, towels, handkerchiefs, and related clothing accessories. The major use of yarn dyeing is to give a cloth more a rusty look as compared to a normally printed fabric’s look.

Yarn-dyed fabric is widely used in making shirts that have stripes and checks in their design while denim is probably the best example as the whole denim is made as a yarn-dyed fabric. This is also the reason behind its longevity and colorfastness.

Is denim yarn-dyed?

Most if not all denim you find in the market is yarn-dyed. Blue jeans or denim are the most popular and favorite. You may have noticed that denim is not completely of one color and this thing is done by dyeing warp yarns while leaving the filling yarns undyed.

However, now plain color denim is also becoming popular and such denim is dyed-through different methods where yarn dyeing is also a prominent one. The difference is that to get a plain color, all yarns are pre-dyed before weaving them into a single garment.

Difference between yarn-dyed and piece-dyed fabric:

There are not many differences but there is one major difference that distinguishes them completely from each other.

In a nutshell, the yarn-dyed fabric is dyed before the fabric is woven while the piece-dyed fabric is dyed after the fabric has been woven and came out as a large piece.

Most of the shirts with stripes and checks along with denim are made of yarn-dyed fabrics while normal printed patterns are done on piece-dyed fabrics.

How do you dye yarn?

The thing is that dyeing yarn is not a single technique as many methods are used by the manufacturer to dye yarns before weaving them into a fabric. The type of yarn also plays an important role such as dyeing an animal’s yarn is a lot easier as compared to dyeing plant-based yarn.

Also, the type of dye you are using for yarns differs and requires different procedures to bring efficient results. However, below is the step-by-step procedure to dye yarn using Kool-Aid or Wilton food coloring:

  1. The very first thing is to prepare the yarn by uncoiling it and then making large circular loops of it. Tie the yarn loops on different points to keep them in one place.
  2. Soak the yarn in water for about 15-30 minutes. If you are going with Kool-Aid, cold water would be enough but you need cold water along with white vinegar while dyeing yarn using Wilton Food Coloring.
  3. Put yarn into a bowl and add Kool-Aid or Wilton Food Coloring in a quantity as prescribed on the sachet. It’s better to start with less quantity and increase gradually until you get your desired shade.
  4. Place the bowl on the stove and heat the water until it reaches almost the boiling point.
  5. Stir the water to mix the dye properly so that it can reach each small part of the yarns.
  6. Once you feel the yarn has been dyed, remove the bowl from the stove and let it dry for about 15-30 minutes if not more.
  7. Rinse the yarn with normal tap water and let it air dry.

Can you hand-dye fabric yarn?

Yes, you can dye fabric yarn with your hands as all you need is some necessary equipment and you are ready to go.

Many artists who work in textile industries or manufacturing areas where yarns are dyed, come home and make their own designs and hues by hand-dyeing fabric yarns. Although hand dyeing is possible, it still requires a lot of knowledge and skills to get the best results without damaging the yarns.


Can yarn-dyed fabric be worn in summer?

As the fabrics don’t get affected by yarn dyeing, such fabrics are widely regarded as not season-oriented fabrics. It means that you can wear yarn-dyed fabrics at any time of year whether it is summer or winter. Not only colorfastness but the ability to resist weather conditions are great in yarn-dyed fabrics as they go through additional processes before becoming a usable garment.

What is yarn-dyed cotton used for?

Cotton is one of the top fabrics when it comes to going through the yarn dyeing process. Cotton is even the most popular fabric in its normal form. Pre-dyed yarn or cotton is appreciated for knitting different kinds of household accessories and clothes.

The list of items mainly includes names like:

  • Towels
  • Rugs
  • Pillows
  • Market bags
  • Washcloths
  • Pot holders
  • Dishcloths
  • And much more.

If you want to learn how to identify pure cotton fabric, please read our previous guide for more information.

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