are two processes for making Ayurvastra. Firstly, the yarn is medicated
before weaving and secondly, the fabric is dyed after weaving. The
raw yarn is cleaned by a natural bleaching agent and dipped in Ayurvedic
concoctions lasting from 4 hours to several days under controlled
temperature. The encapsulation is assisted by a natural gum. It is
allowed to dry and then is washed carefully to remove any loose particles.
Stage I: De-sizing
The processing of Ayurvastra begins with the washing of hand loomed
cloth in natural mineral-rich water and sea salts to remove its
sizing, gums and oils used in the course of spinning.
Stage II: Bleaching
Fabrics are exposed to direct sunlight, then it is bleached with
biodegradable, naturally derived, organic cleaning agents and surfactants
like Saptala (Acacia Sinuata), Phenila (Sapindus Mukorossi) etc.
Stage III: Mordanting
To make the colours bright and fast a number of natural mordents
such as bark of Lodhra (Symplocos racemosa), Kenduka (Diospyrose
ebenum), fruit extracts of Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) etc are
used. Alum clays, Iron clays are also used as mordent. But mordents
like copper, chrome, zinc, tin etc are avoided due to the environmental
Stage IV: Medication (Dyeing)
The organic cotton yarn or fabric is then medicated in a carefully
controlled mixture of herbal medicine preparations called Kashayas
depending upon the disease or ailment being treated. The word medication
is used instead of dyeing because here the medicines itself gives
natural colour to fabrics.
The temperature of the Kashayas, the duration and number of the
medicinal soaks, the blend of herbs and the equipment are carefully
used in a controlled manner. The medicated cloth is allowed to cool
and repeatedly washed to remove any loose particles and is always
dried in shades.
Stage. V. Finishing
In herbal dyeing, finishing is done by sprinkling pure water on
the cloth and then stretching under pressure, using hand rolls,
allovera, castor oil etc.
The entire process is organic. It does not pollute the environment
like synthetic dye. And the waste is used as bio manure and also
to generate bio gas.
The technology for making Ayurvastra is being utilised for making
coir mats, mattresses, door mats, carpets and fabrics out of bamboo,
jute and silk.