Day 6: A Factory of Color
While walking down the street, it is an amazement to look around the alleyways and see tie-dye fabrics. Whether it is blue and white shirts and dresses or multicolored marijuana clothes, every piece of tie-dye is one with a story. Similar to murals and tapestry, everything from the dyeing to the stitching is finely detailed. Today I got to see this action happen firsthand. With half of the 16 people in my group, we visited two places where they made and stitched tie-dye clothes, tapestries, and more. First, they collect the dyes, which can be anything from indigo, walnuts, or grape skin. Then, they boil the ingredients, which takes a long time, from anything of 4-7 days. Afterward, they create the pattern on a template-like thing and then use the template to paint the design the pattern onto the cloth. Then, they spend a week stitching the seams to keep the dye away from that area. Finally, they boil the cloth. Seeing this action firsthand was fascinating, as it is really hard. Throughout the process, Jasmine and I met a woman called Ms. Yang, who told me, while stitching the seams of cloth, about how a bunch of people like her came from Dali Old Town to this place. Later, I learned that they specialize in this area and that making these cloths can take up to many years. The beauty of such fine-detailed cloths really stood out to me, especially since there were plenty to see and many stories to learn from these tie-dye cloths.