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3 tying and binding techniques for tie dyeing

by Jean Boyd

Yesterday I showed you how to use the Rit Indigo Shibori Tie Dye Kit to dye fabric folded and bound in the traditional Shibori styles.

Here’s another method of manipulating fabric before dyeing. This is one of my favorite methods for creating a Shibori-type design.

Start with a piece of PVC plastic pipe. Mine was 2″ in diameter and about 10″ long. Any diameter will work and each size will give you a different effect.

Start by anchoring one corner of the fabric on the pipe with a tight elastic band. Then wrap the fabric around the pipe. Wind string or rope around the pipe as you go.

White fabric wrapped and tied on a plastic PVC pipe and wound with a blue elastic band

Start wrapping fabric around a PVC pipe.

After you’ve wrapped a few inches, push the fabric up towards the starting point, making small folds. Pull the string or rope tightly to secure the folds and continue wrapping the fabric around the pipe.

Wrapped white fabric is pushed toward the top of the PVC pipe to make small folds

Push the fabric toward the top of the PVC pipe.

When you get to the end of the fabric, secure the string or rope with a knot and put another elastic band around the bottom end to hold everything in place.

White fabric is wrapped and tied around a PVC pipe and is ready for dyeing

Fabric is ready for dyeing.

Soak the fabric in water and then dye it in the Rit Indigo dye solution using the method given in yesterday’s post. I used the same dye bath I used yesterday.

Here are fabrics I dyed using 3 variations of this technique.

3 pieces of tie dyed Shibori fabrics in different patterns; Rit Indigo Shibori Tie Dye Kit, Rit Indigo All-purpose Dye

Finished fabric after dyeing

Here’s another folding method that’s easy to use.

Pinch one corner of fabric and secure with elastic.

White fabric is pinched in one corner and secured with elastic

Pinch and secure one corner of the fabric.

Hold the fabric by the corner and twist along the length. Then roll it all into a circle or rectangle and secure with several elastic bands. The tighter the elastics are, the more white fabric you’ll see after it’s dyed.

White fabric is twisted into a rectangle and secured with rubber bands

Fabric twisted into a rectangle

Here’s how this piece turned out after rinsing and drying.

A piece of dyed blue and white fabric

Finished fabric

Another fun technique uses bamboo skewers or chopsticks. Place one skewer on a corner of the fabric. My fabric was doubled, but you can use a single layer if you wish.

A wooden skewer in placed on one corner of white fabric

Place 1 skewer on a corner of the fabric

Roll the fabric once around the skewer. Add another skewer and roll again. Keeping adding skewers and rolling the fabric until you have a little bundle of skewers and fabric.

Wrap tightly with elastic or string, soak in water for a few minutes, then dye with Rit Indigo Dye.

Fabric is wrapped around several skewers and secured with rubber bands

Bundle of fabric wrapped around wooden skewers

Please join me again tomorrow as I start using my Shibori design fabrics to create a small table runner.

This is part 3 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 2: Tie-dyeing process: How to get Shibori style dyed fabric

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