Shibori tie-dyeing: What you need to get started

I’ve always been interested in creating my own designs on fabric, whether using markers, crayons, paints or dyes. Have a look at my previous QUILTsocial blog, Creating one-of-a-kind fabric with paint sticks and decorative stitches, where I explain how to use markers from the Mont Marte Signature Fabric Art Set to create special effects on fabric.

Mont Marte Signature Fabric Art Set

This week I’m using the Rit Indigo Shibori Tie Dye Kit to create some unique designs on fabric. Shibori is an ancient Japanese dyeing technique that involves folding or twisting cloth and then binding it to create various patterns. I recently took an indigo dyeing class from fiber artist Bethany Garner, in Kingston Ontario. Many of the same effects created with indigo dyeing can also be achieved using the Rit Indigo Shibori Tie Dye Kit, and that’s what we’re using this week.

This kit is readily available at craft and fabric shops and it includes everything you need to get started. Here’s what comes in the kit:

Here’s what’s in the Rit Indigo Shibori Dye Kit

You might also like to gather up some other supplies such as tongs, clothes pins or clamps, wooden skewers or chopsticks, PVC pipe 2″ – 3″ in diameter and about 10″ long, wooden craft sticks and wood or plastic circles or squares (2 of each).

Extra tools for dyeing

When using the Rit Indigo Shibori Tie Dye Kit, all you need to add is hot water, salt, liquid dish soap and fabric. I used PFD (prepared for dyeing) fabric, but you can use whatever cotton fabric you have on hand. If you’re not using PFD fabric, make sure to wash your fabric first to remove any finishes that may be on it. There are also instructions for using this dye kit for other types of fabrics as well.

Get your fabric ready

There are many different folding methods that’ll give an authentic Shibori look to your fabric. These are well described in the instruction booklet that comes in the kit. If you zoom in on the picture below, you’ll be able to see how the fabric was folded to get the results shown in the pictures. You can also experiment and come up with your own folding designs.

Instruction booklet for Shibori dyeing

You can also have a look at videos which show several folding and wrapping techniques.

Be sure to come back tomorrow when I demonstrate how to use the Rit Indigo Shibori Tie Dye Kit to make a dye bath and start dyeing your own unique designs on fabric.

This is part 1 of 5 in this series

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

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