It’s no secret that I love color. I have days that I wish I was one of those super chic girls that dresses in all black and muted colors…you know the ones that always seem so effortless cool?
But then I see ALL the colors and quickly I throw the neutral color version of myself out the window. So it’s no wonder that I love tie dye! Color, texture, uniqueness in each piece….yeah it is pretty awesome!
What is even more awesome is that Tie Dye is having a real moment right now. From stores like Walmart, to higher end boutiques…everywhere I look, there are tie dyed items to be found!
Give me a little history!
Shape resistant dyeing actually dates all the way back to 500 AD in Peru and there are forms of this art all over the world.
In Japan, the Shibori technique is very popular. This process includes labor intensive resist techniques that include stitching the fabric and cord wrapping to create intricate designs before dying them in indigo dye. (We are actually going to be using some of these techniques in our tutorial so keep reading!
While there are many more cultures that work with some sort shape resistant dying, the one that you are probably most common with is the tie dye that was made popular in the 1960s. This generation used tie dyeing as a way to showcase their creativity and individuality (in an inexpensive way!) and also used it as a way to express
Why buy a cookie cutter version when you can DIY?
One of my favorite parts of tie die is the idea that it is represents your creativity! So you know I am a big believer in DIYing this…plus it is so fun!
While there are many forms of dye and processes that you can use now days, today we are focusing on the kind that you an grab at any craft store.
Let’s get started!
Grab your supplies. For this project we are going to be dying a set of cloth napkins in 4 separate techniques, using the same color dye.
#1 Shape Resist Technique
This pattern was created using two pieces of card board and rubber bands.
Grab your cloth and start by folding it like an accordion length wise. Then fold this vertically to create a square.
Once you have created your square, add the pieces of card board to each side. Now add your rubber bands. The idea is for the ink to not go where the rubber bands and the boards are. So the bigger boards and bands you use will create more white space that is not dyed.
#2 Pole wrapping Technique
For this technique you will need a cylinder pole, twine and your fabric.
Stat by wrapping your fabric around the pole. Take your twine and start wrapping this at the bottom. Once you have wrapped a few inches, push the wrapped portion together to create folds.
Continue wrapping and scrunching until you have the entire length of fabric scrunched on the pole.
#3 Pleat & Bind Technique
For this technique you are going to start out with your according fold length wise. Then starting at the bottom you will fold a triangle in your fabric. Continue to fold your cloth in triangles, rotating back and forth from folding it front to back each time.
Once you have your triangle fold, grab your binder clips and click around the edges. Again, the bigger the clips, the more white that will be present in your design!
#4 Freestyle Band Technique
This is probably my favorite technique of all! Fold your cloth lengthwise like an accordion. Then grab your rubber bands. Start on one side and gather small edges before tying them. Once you have done 3 on that side, proceed to the other side. Now, offset from the other side, do the same ties, but this time do 4.
Once you have completed both sides, go back to the first side, and bind further down on each banded portion. continue this on each side until you can not bind anymore. Then wrap a band around the entire piece. It will look crazy and that is the fun of it!
Let’s get our dye on!
Now comes the fun part! Lay out your protective surface and grab your gloves.
For our dye, we are using this Tulip mix that only requires you to fill the bottle with water and shake!
Now you will start applying your dye to the fabric.with this particular type of dye, you will notice that it beads up a little on the surface of your fabric. This is where the gloves come in handy! Massage the color into your fabric very slightly!
And then we wait!
Grab gallon bags and place your items in them. This dye requires that you wait for 6 hours to let the dye set.
Once you have waited the appropriate time, you will want to rinse your fabric under warm water until it runs clear. This will help remove any excess dye from your cloth. Then remove all of your bindings from your project.
Once you have let this dry, you are good to go! You have just created your very own piece of art with our shape resistant dying techniques!
I can’t wait to throw a dinner party with my new tie dyed napkins! And I have a feeling you will see me rocking some sweet tie dye outfits around the studio!!
What about you? What will you tie dye?