Shibori Tie Dye DIY

It’s official, I’m jumping on the Shibori bandwagon. I have fallen in love with the deep blues and unique patterns that come along with this ancient indigo tie dye technique. 

The term “shibori” does not translate into english, but it dates back more than 1300 years. Shibori is a type of relief dying technique that was considered to be performed by the working class. Since silk was forbidden to the less fortunate, inexpensive fabric was folded then dyed, to make ornate patterns. The prints came out beautifully, making these pieces works of art as much as functional pieces of clothing. 

 

Now that we know what Shibori is, let’s talk about how to make it. Indigo pigment dye is used to make these brilliant shades of blues. 

There is a crazy amount of chemistry that goes into making an indigo “vat” or “bath” (what you eventually dip your fabric into!) To take the crazy out of this project, I highly recommend using Jaquard Indigo Tie Dye Kit

This kit comes with everything you need and it’s only $10.99. It comes with more than enough dye for your project and eliminates all the guesswork. To dye these cute little canvas make-up/pencil bags, I cut the ingredients in half. I didn’t need to use it all for these little guys. Honestly, I still had a ton of dye left over!

What You'll Need

SUPPLIES:

TOOLS:

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Please do not use kitchen utensils for this process. Even if you clean them up at your very best, they still will not be food safe. 

Also, I will say that the rubber glove provided in this kit are NOT long enough. Speaking from experience. Go ahead and purchase yourself some longer rubber gloves, otherwise you’ll have a blue hand like this! Trust me, it’s not a good look… and it stays with your for a very LONG time!

Setting Up The Indigo Vat:

  1. Using a 5 Gallon Bucket, fill it up with 4 Gallons of warm water.
  2.  Using half the indigo, soda ash and reducing agent – mix into the water, stirring one direction only.
  3. Once the contents are mixed together, change the direction you’re mixing, dragging the stirrer along the outer edge of the vat before removing it. This makes a foamy “flower” file on top.
  4. Cover and leave the vat and allow it to settle, approximately half hour. At this time the liquid should be a green/yellow color.
 

Here’s a great video demonstrating this process.

The Folding:

The Jaquard Indigo Tie Dye Kit comes with everything you could possibly need to make beautiful shibori patterns. It comes with rubber bands, popsicle sticks, and wood blocks. I did grab some extra pieces of wood I had around the house too.

Using what comes in the kit, I made a few different patterns. Most were simple to do and came out so beautiful!

Dying:

  1. Once items are folded, wet them thoroughly. Squeeze out excess water.
  2. Remove the lid from the vat and gently move the foamy “flower” off the top of the vat.
  3. Squeeze your fabric and then submerge fully into the dye. Gently manipulate your fabric for several minutes.
  4. Remove your fabric when ready, don’t be alarmed, it will be a green/yellow color. As the dye contacts the air it will oxidize and change to a deep blue. Let it oxidize for about 20 minutes.
  5. At this time you decide if you want your fabric to be darker or if you’re content. If you want it to be darker, repeat steps 3 and 4. Otherwise, rinse, and untie your fabric.
  6. Rinse your fabric till it no longer bleeds. You can now wash your piece with mild detergent and a 1/2 c vinegar to help set the color. 
  7. Cover the vat and store. It will keep for several days.
  8. When finished, you can empty contents down the drain and clean up with dish soap. 

The Results:

I know you are at home being responsible and “socially distant.” I’m proud of you for looking out for your wellbeing and others. However, I know you’re like me and looking for something fun to do! Well my friends, this is the perfect. Order yourself some supplies, and get to dying! {… ok, maybe too soon for that joke huh?}

Stay safe friends and happy crafting!

 

XOXO,

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