As the new semester starts, it can be difficult to think of creative ways to fill the white walls of your dorm room. This tutorial will give you helpful instructions to create a beautiful, hand-dyed Shibori tapestry that can be used as a wall hanging. Each one will be completely unique. This project is surprisingly easy and will have you scouring your home for white fabric to dye!
Shibori is the ancient Japanese art of folding and dying fabrics. Indigo dye is typically used with the complex patterns of folds, but it has become a popular pattern in today’s textiles for any color.
You will need:
+ An indigo Tie Dye Kit (we used this Jacquard kit)
+ A large piece of 100% cotton fabric
+ A five gallon bucket
+ 4 gallons of warm water
+ Pebbles (approx. 15)
+ Some rubber bands
Although the kit comes with a set of instructions, I’ll include a few tips we learned along the way. Most importantly, use a pair of rubber gloves to prevent the dye from staining your hands!
1. Start by preparing the indigo dying station. Fill a five-gallon bucket with warm water. Add all of the packets that come in the kit and stir until well mixed! Cover for about 20 minutes while you prepare your fabric.
2. There are many ways you can fold your fabric. We tried two different methods, and both ways created unique patterns!
On the top half of our tapestry, we placed individual pebbles on the fabric and then wrapped the fabric around them (from underneath the fabric), securing each pebble pocket with a rubber band. This created the pattern of circles that we love so much!
On the bottom half, we accordion-folded the fabric into a long, vertical strip. Then, we folded that strip in halves until it was a square. The kit came with two small wood squares that we placed on either side of our folded fabric to make a sandwich. We secured the wood with rubber bands.
These are just two of the ways you can fold, tie, or bind your fabric. A quick search of Shibori dying techniques will get your creative juices flowing!
3. Soak your prepared fabric with water before it takes a dip in the dye.
4. Wearing gloves, remove the covering from the bucket and submerge your fabric in the dye. You don't want the fabric to touch the bottom (where all the sediment is), but you also don't want it to be outside of the dye, so it may take two pairs of hands to hold the fabric suspended in the bucket. Massage the fabric in the dye for a few minutes and then take it out to oxidize!
5. This is where the real magic happens. The fabric will change colors from an olive green color to deep indigo as it comes in contact with the air. Let it sit for 20 minutes.
6. With a new pair of gloves, repeat the dying process to achieve a deeper indigo color. At this stage, we removed the wood squares, but kept the fabric folded. When submerging the fabric for the second time, we also gently opened our accordion folds to allow dye to reach parts of the fabric that had not yet been dyed.
7. When you are finished dying, you can squeeze the soaked fabric over the bucket, unfold it and allow it to dry in the sun. After a couple hours of drying, remove all the pebbles and rubberbands, and check out your awesome design!
You may want to wash the tapestry with a mild detergent and warm water before use for decoration.
8. Once the fabric is dried, you will have a unique fun tapestry to make your dorm room a colorful boho paradise!
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