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Process of Dyeing and Polishing

Banarsi silk is popular among women and is widely appreciated. Its designs exhibit Mughal patterns. Banarasi fabric itself contains diverse styles like pure silk (katan), organza with zari work, georgette and shattir. Its major attraction lies in colorful dying of silk fabric. Its designs have the essence of traditional folk. Benarsi fabric often depict scenes of villages, fairs, flowers and clouds. Also you can find temple and mosque designs. They come up in all shades.

Finishing Processes

After construction of fabric through one of the many techniques described above, it is known as greige good or gray good. This simply denotes any unfinished fabric. Many finishing processes are employed for improving the appearance, feel and durability of the fabric. These processes are broadly classified as Preparatory Processes, Stabilizing Processes, Textural and Dyeing Processes.

Preparatory Process

The unfinished fabric or the gray good may contain many impurities such as dirt, soil, sizing, oils and other additives. As such, they need to be cleaned before proceeding towards finishing of the textile. As a result, processes such as Gassing and Bleaching are done which removes all the impurities and decolorize the fabric for further finishes. After the banarsi cloth is made on the loom it goes into the process of bleaching and cutting of extra zari threads, which is also included in preparatory process so that the fabric becomes light in weight. Not all cloths require cutting, only the few goes into the process.

Stabilizing Process

 Stabilizing processes are required for improving properties such as strength, luster, and other qualities of the fiber. Mercerization is done for improving properties such as fiber strength, shrinkage resistance, luster, and dye affinity. Ammoniating is done for increasing luster, affinity for dyes, abrasion resistance, smoothness etc. particularly of cotton and rayon fabrics. Shrinking is done to avoid the subsequent shrinkage of the fabric while usage. In banarsi fabric making this process is done very rarely as silk, nylon and polyester are shrinkage- free plus silk also comes in natural color, which does not need to be dye chemically therefore does not require dye affinity. This process is necessary if the banarsi fabric is weaved with a cotton thread.

Textural Processes

Textural processes are meant for improving the texture of the fabric such as stiffness, smoothness, weight or strength. Temporary stiffening, permanent stiffening, weighting, embossing etc. are some processes, which help in improving the texture of the fabrics. In Pakistan, the banarsi fabric making does not require textural process, it is done very rarely.

Process of Dyeing:

Dyeing is the process of imparting colors to a textile material through a dye (color). Dyes are obtained from flowers, nuts, berries and other forms of vegetables and plants as well as from animal and mineral sources. These are known as natural dyes. The other class of dyes is known as synthetic dyes. These are based on a particular type of chemical composition. Some of these dyes are- Acid (Anionic) dyes, Basic (Cationic) dyes, Neutral- Premetalized dyes, sulfur dyes, vat dyes, reactive dyes etc.

In this process, the main fabric is packed into a container and then dye liquid is forced to pass through it. The temperature and time controlling are two key factors in dyeing. Although the dye solution is pumped in large quantities, the dye may not penetrate completely into the fibers and some areas may be left without dyeing. However, the blending and spinning processes mix up the fibers in such a thorough way that it results in an overall even color. After dyeing completely the fabric is leave to cool down and to get dried.

dyeing is done to enhance the beauty of this special banarasi cloth, banarsi dyeing is just like dyeing other fabrics. First of all the cloth or fabric used in dyeing should be washed properly leaving it despicably clean. This process is done to eliminate the impurities found in the fabric before the start of dyeing process. This makes sure that the fabric is free of elements that make it harder for the dye or the color to be attached to the piece of cloth.

Since it is not natural for the fabric to have color, these colors can be washed off easily. So the next step in dyeing process is to soak the fabric in a fixative that would make the color last and not washable. Vinegar and salt is a good combination for fixative. The fabric can be soak there before the dyeing process commences.

 Next step is to make the dye mixture. for this natural or artificial dyes can be used. In this step, the dyeing man need to make sure that the fabric get the desired color. He follow instructions for artificial dyes. Then put it inside a pot that is mainly used for dyeing. Heat it up then add the fabric to the combination and make it stay under the fire for about 60 minutes. He than check the piece in a 10 minute interval. Once they get the desired color then they take it off the mixture. Take the fabric out of the mixture and hang it. Drying it up in natural heat makes it perfect but mostly now the fabric is placed into the dryer to get dry.
The dyeing process of benarasi is donemanually with Acid dye.Operations must be carried out for dyeing process are:
  •   Dissolve or disperse the dye in water and filter
  •   Achieve a homogeneous contact between the dyeing liquor and the fabric.
  •   Make the dye penetrate into the fabric.
  •   Fix the dye in the core of the fabric.
  •   Wash or rinse the material to remove the dye on the surface or the unfixed dyeing liquor.
There is a pre-treatment process is carried out with boiling soap water to increase pliability and give the fabric smooth and shinier texture
Since a large number silk dyeing units in the trade, use chemical dyes, which cause pollution a move is on to shift to natural dyes. The technique of solvent extraction and enzymatic extraction are used to developed natural colours from plants, flowers and fruits including accaccia, butia (palash), madder, marigold and pomegranate (anar)

The fabric then goes into the polishing department where different sprays are used to enhance the shine and luster of the fabric. The gold or silver-colored zari borders are not made of pure metal and thus are prone to discoloration after some time. The “polishing” process is supposed to remove the dark spots and bring back some of the original luster. The raw materials which are used while carrying out rolling and polishing procedure are iron and spray starch, gasoline and others.

After washing the banarasi silk fabric the starch will spray. Than the fabric will keep for drying, than the fabric will be fold on a uniform wooden piece to get uniform foldings. After keeping for six to eight hours the fabric will remove from wooden piece and press with the help of steam iron.

After all the process carried out, the fabric than goes to the wholesale markets where the retaliers buys it and than sales it in the market with over priced tags.
Generally, piece-rate of silk fabric made on handloom varies from 2000 to 8000 rupees,depending on the complexity of design. Independent loom-owners do not have the holding capacity and immediate dire need of money forces them to compromise withlower piece-rate. Also, traders often find excuses on grounds of flaws in the quality of weaving to make deductions from even the agreed price. Consequently, when the product is taken as substandard or there is low demand in the market, weavers have to sell it at a price that may not even cover the labour cost. In the weaving industry,imitation is not valued. As soon as the design is copied, the product gets devalued and weavers have to bear the loss.
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