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Shibori Tie Dye Patterns You Can Try At Home

Shibori tie dye is a unique way of sprucing up any plain fabric. Originating from the land of the rising sun, Japan, it is the art of dyeing textiles by using binding and knotting techniques.

Shibori is distinct because of its use of indigo dye, which in its original form, is a natural dye derived from leaves. With shibori tie dye, you can use pieces of flat wood or a pole to create unique patterns.

There are plenty of binding and knotting techniques that are distinct to shibori dyeing as well, and we’re about to teach you three easy ones!

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In this article:

  1. First Method: Using Thread
  2. Second Method: Using Large Craft Sticks
  3. Third Method: Using Wooden Pole and Twine

Here Are Easy Shibori Tie Dye Techniques You Can Do During Quarantine!

First Method: Using Thread

What You’ll Need:

  • Plain fabric
  • Indigo fabric dye
  • Wooden triangle
  • Disappearing ink pen or fabric crayon
  • Needle and thread

Step 1: Fold Your Fabric

Grab your plain fabric and create an accordion fold. You can make the fold as thick as you want, but two to three inches thick is ideal and is the usual thickness.

The example above uses a plain bandana, but you can use whatever plain fabric you have. You can use white t-shirts or tank tops with cotton fabric. Using white denim is not advisable with this technique since the needle might not penetrate the stiff denim fabric.

Step 2: Trace Your Pattern

Once you’ve folded your fabric, flatten it out and grab your wooden triangle pattern. You don’t have to use wood if you don’t have one.

Feel free to use cardboard or a folder thick enough to trace along to. Lay your triangle down on the folded fabric and use your disappearing ink pen or your fabric crayon to draw triangle patterns.

Step 3: Stitch Along Your Pattern

Stitch along your traced pattern using your needle and thread. Make sure that you stitch along all the triangles you’ve just drawn on.

For each triangle stitched, leave at least two inches of your thread to fray along the edges. Do not seal the ends with a knot just yet because you are gonna have to do some pulling in a bit.

For the type of stitching, it is important to use a normal basting stitch as this will make pulling the threads easier.

Step 4: Pull Those Threads!

Grab the ends of the loose threads and create a knot on one side. On the other side, pull slightly to cause the fabric to scrunch up.

Tie the second knot with the fabric scrunched up, and repeat for the rest of the loose threads. This scrunching will add to the effect of this shibori tie dye technique.

After securing all knots, you’re done! You can soak your fabric in your container full of indigo dye. Follow the fabric dye instructions and rinse your fabric when ready.

Cut all the threads once rinsed to reveal the beautiful shibori tie dye pattern you’ve just created!

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Second Method: Using Large Craft Sticks

What You’ll Need:

  • Plain fabric
  • Indigo fabric dye
  • Large craft sticks
  • Rubber bands

Step 1: Accordion Fold Your Fabric

Similar to the first step with the technique above, create an accordion fold with your fabric. Once you have your flat accordion fold, you’re gonna wanna fold that in half.

Step 2: Pull out the Craft Stick

Get your large craft stick and place it above your fabric. Your craft stick will serve as a guide for how short you’re going to fold your fabric.

Fold one side of your fabric outward and according to the length of your craft stick. While you’re using your craft stick as a guide for the length, leave about half an inch allowance on each end of the fabric.

Do the same thing for the other side of your plain fabric.

Step 3: Tie Sticks With Rubber Bands

Grab three sticks, stack them together, and place them on each side of your folded fabric. Tie them with rubber bands that are spaced about an inch apart from each other.

Tying the rubber bands tightly will make for more white space in your shibori tie dye pattern. If you don’t want that much white space, you can opt to use thin rubber bands or tie them a bit more loosely but still making sure that it holds the craft sticks together.

Once you’re done with tying the rubber bands, then you can dye them in your indigo dye bath. Just like the final step from the previous technique, follow the instructions on your dye bath, and rinse accordingly.

Remove your rubber bands and your craft sticks to reveal a different shibori tie dye pattern!

Third Method: Using Wooden Pole and Twine

What You’ll Need:

  • Plain fabric
  • Indigo fabric dye
  • Wooden pole or a plastic tube about three inches in diameter
  • Rubber bands
  • Twine

Step 1: Fabric Folding Again!

Once again, do an accordion fold with your fabric. Grab your wooden pole or in this case, a plastic tube, then lay your folded fabric diagonally against it.

Grab your rubber band and tie it around the edge of the fabric to secure it against your pole or tube.

Step 2: Wrap Them Around!

By “them,” we mean your fabric and your twine! Wrap your folded fabric diagonally against the wooden pole or plastic tube, and secure on the other end with another rubber band.

Once done, grab your twine and tie a knot at one end. Wrap it around your fabric and secure it at the other end.

Step 3: Compress Together!

The final step in this shibori tie dye technique is to compress everything together to create more creases on your fabric.

Place your compressed fabric in your dye bath and dye accordingly, making sure not to remove it from the pole.

Watch the full tutorial video by Bluprint on all three shibori tie dye techniques:

Shibori tie dye is truly an artform with its many techniques that are unique in their approach as well as results. Practice your tie-dye skills this quarantine period and make beautiful prints on textile!

What do you think of the different shibori tie dye techniques above? Let us know in the comments section below!

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