Ali, the Dye Master

September 3, 2012

What a magician he is!

He keeps his powdered dies in brown paper bags, and in seemingly random fashion, dips a baton in them to pick up pinches of colour which he then stirs vigorously in big aluminium pots, with a theatrical flourish plunges the hanks into what looks like steaming grunge – and out come the most delightful colours, from soft pastels to brilliant, from psychedelic to classical…

Ali has been with us from the very beginning, a decent man, faithful and constant. He travels 2 hours each way to get work every day, and never ever misses a day, and never complains. He has stood by us during the hard times, and he adores a gossip over a tea and a ciggie.

Everything starts with the dyeing: we dye to order, and the colours have to match the fabric samples. Otherwise all the other work of the factory counts for nothing. I cannot for the life of me figure out how he does it. He has no written recipes, but he can look at a colour on sample, and reproduce it perfectly.

Well, he does occasionally have a brain fart, and then his obstinacy is matched only by Sevinch’s, and I have witnessed many a shouting match between the two. But all is forgotten within an hour or two. Ali is not only a genius, he is a congenial man:

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