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A Tie-Dye & Shibori Workshop from the Masters

Apr 7, 2017

by holliebell1 handmade and vintage goods

Warning: the art of tie-dye is highly addictive. Within an hour of learning it’s likely you won’t own a single white item of clothing or house linen. Up your upcycling game this craft month with these tips and on tie-dye. And prepare to start your life in a tie-dye house…

At the tie-dye masterclass with Raquel Allegra – the top middle is the ‘shell’ dye technique.

How to Tie Dye

Ready to give it a go? We learned how to create original garments by removing the colour to create bold patterns and textures. Working on a rag or spare piece of fabric first is a great idea to give you a preview of the results you can expect.

The Shell Dye

Another great pattern technique is the shell. Flatten your garment (while slightly damp) on a solid surface and using a stick or ruler, gently twist the item (keeping flat) around a central point. Once you’ve twisted your item into a circle around the central point, remove the stick and secure in place with rubber bands. The more bands you use, the more of the original fabric colour will be visible. Now repeat the dying process as above, rinse, remove bands and enjoy!

These are three of our favourite Etsy sellers using tie-dye in their work

Tori Lo Designs

Based in Newcastle, Tori Lo creates beautiful bespoke leather goods including wallets, card holders and phone cases. Each one is created individually to give a touch of originality and personalisation.

Top tips on tie-dying

‘My process for tie dying is slightly different to a typical tie dye product.  All my items are tied then hand painted with the dye, rather than being fully submerged.  This gives me some control over the final outcome of the product, however not much. I love the beauty of tie dye, the unknown and uncontrollable quality. Each and every hide comes out differently.’

Romor Designs1

Romor Designs1 is based in London and creates tie-dye lampshades, handkerchiefs and table linens. The perfect way to add a pop of colour to a room.

Top tips on tie-dying

‘My work is actually Shibori, the Japanese version of tie dye and includes stitching, binding and clamping methods (Itajime). My top tip for all my work is to make sure you get a strong resist by pulling up sewn pieces tightly dry and then spraying them with water and pulling up the stitches some more before tying your knots off tightly.’

Fabrics of Humanity

The California based fabric and wall hanging producer FabricsofHumanity bring fabrics from around the world to your home.

Hopefully, what with it being national crafts month and all, you’ll be inspired to give this a go yourself. But if not, check out Tori Lo Designs leather goods or some textiles from FabricsofHumanity. And note: top to toe tie-dye isn’t as terrifying as it sounds, especially when it’s created from super-soft silk in pale pastel pinks or calm sea greens. Heavenly.

Top tips on tie-dying

Batik fabric is a laborious practice of repetition in tub dying and waxing. The rich colours you see in my shop are created through over-dying the fabrics until you achieve the colour you want. The wax is used to “resist” the dye so you can create endless amounts of unique patterns.

  1. Always pre-wash your fabrics. There’s a lot of microscopic impurities that the human eye can’t see. Without pre-washing it, you risk interfering the dying process.
  2. There’s a lot of fancy tools you could buy to achieve the same result as tools you may already own. Here’s a few. Instead of getting an electric wax pot, try an electric frying pan. Instead of stretching the fabric on a Frame, a piece of cardboard would work just as well.
  3. The patterns you make are quite literally endless. All you need to do is find an interesting end of an object that can take the heat out of the wax. Don’t believe me? Try cutting the end of vegetables like celery of bell peppers. It works!
  4. Remember that colour wheel you learned in middle school? It’s super useful for dying fabrics. For example, dying yellow first and turquoise second would create a bright green. Mixing these up could create a not so happy accident.

For more tye die goodness, hop on over to Country & Town House to read further.

Take a walk on the wild side with our Boho fashion Editor’s Picks page here


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