Sisal is a natural fiber and we take care to use only the lighter coloured fibers, so it takes the dye well. We pride ourselves of having a large range of colours with a high colour saturation and various tones.
We use various natural dyes such as tea to create some colours. The natural dyes take longer to colour, but adds beautiful earthy tones.
Our dyes come from the renown DyStar Group in Germany. The dyes we use are part of their ecoconfidence® collections. DyStar is on the positive list: Toward Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC). This certification lists a ban on such substances like total heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium, mercury and lead etc), chlorinated solvents and perflourinated and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) plus many more. If you would like more information please contact us.
DYEING TO EXHAUSTION:
ONE - Preparing the sisal
The raw sisal is gathered near our dye pots to be separated and prepped for dyeing. Our dye vats are stainless steel and heated by fire. The firewood is sourced locally, we mainly burn acacia, another exotic weed found in Swaziland.
TWO - Preparing the dye
Whilst the vats are cleaned and filled with clean water, the secondary dye person mixes the various dye powders to create the desired colours. All Tintsaba colours are mix by hand, we endeavor to be as close as possible but sometimes there may be a slight colour variation.
THREE - Dyeing
When the water, dye and sisal is ready, the dye powder is mixed with a little boiling water and then poured into the vat. A few strands of sisal is added to colour check the dye. When the correct colour is achieved the bundles of sisal is added into the vat. Using the dyeing tools the two women work the sisal around the vat so that all the white sisal is picking up the colour. The vat is
then covered and is left to brew for up to 45 minutes, depending on which colour is being done.
FOUR - Blanching the sisal
A bathtub next to the vats is filled with cool clean water to blanch and seal the colour into the sisal. When the sisal is ready, it is pulled from the boiling water and put into the tub. The tub is then drained and the sisal is then rinsed again.
FIVE - Drying
When the sisal has been sufficiently rinsed it is pulled and hung under an awning to dry. The sisal will stay drying for a minimum of 5 days. After that, it goes into our storage and is ready to be used for weaving.
• Use of non-hazardous dyes
• Water is recycled
• We use locally source wood which is an obnoxious weed