5+ Different Ways to Tie Dye (Shibori Techniques)
Tie-dye is one of the easiest and most fun ways to DIY clothes. There are so many different ways to do this. Japanese shibori is a lesser-known range of techniques that can turn a plain, white t-shirt into a cute, colourful outfit. You can watch the video tutorials on YouTube or via the links below.
What will you need?
- White cotton fabric (you can find these in Kmart)
- Rubber bands
- 1/2 cup Indigo or navy dye
- 2-3 Clamps
- Itajime Shapes
- Needle and thread (a sewing kit like this will do)
- Latex gloves
- PVC pipe
- 1/2 cup salt
Not every tie-dye technique will use all of these materials. If you don’t have them all, there are a lot of household objects that can be used instead. Check out the video for some ideas!
Creating the Dye Bath
If you are using Rit Dye like we are, you will need to create a dye bath. You can follow the instructions on their website. We added ½ cup of salt and ½ cup of the dye to 11 litres of hot water. We also had a tub of cold water ready to rinse the fabric.
Arashi pole wrapping gives a grain-like effect to your fabric. It’s quite simple to do as well. While PVC pipe is what is usually used for this technique, there are many household objects that you can use as a replacement. As you can see in the video linked, I used an empty cordial bottle.
- Accordion fold the fabric into a thick strip
- Secure one end of the fabric to the pipe using an elastic
- Wrap the fabric strip around the pipe as shown (it is important to not overlap the fabric)
- Use twine to wrap around the fabric, push it up with the fabric as you go along
- Once again, secure everything with an elastic
The nui stitching technique is so versatile! You can create any shapes and words to personalise your clothing. Be prepared – it does take a while.
- Fold fabric however you wish (the smaller you fold it, the less you have to stitch)
- Draw guide lines with a sharpie or fabric marker (optional)
- Cut a length of thread double how long the line is
- Baste / loose stitch everything leaving thread loose on either end (this is used to tighten it later)
- Scrunch and tighten fabric as much as possible
While kanoko is similar to western tie dye, it is so much better! It looks neater and can be personalised more.
- Place button (or anything circular) in center (or off center) of fabric
- Bunch the rest of fabric around this
- Add elastics at intervals down the fabric – the more you add, the more white space there will be
Itajime is one of the easiest shibori techniques. Unlike most tie dye… itajime has defined shapes that will make your garment pop. If you don’t have clamps – use elastics.
- accordion fold into a square
- clamp shape to either side of the fabric
- secure shape with elastics
If you also went through the loom band phase in primary school, this one’s for you! Instead of going out to buy the amount of elastics I needed, I scraped up all my loose loom bands and put them to good use.
- Create small bunches of fabric along the edges of your fabric
- Tie them up with elastics
- Once done, gather two knots and bunch additional fabric as you go around
- Tie these with elastics and repeat until there is no remaining fabric
- Scrunch into ball and tie elastics around randomly to secure it
Less Popular Methods
There are so many more shibori techniques. I tried the scrunchie technique where to fold the fabric to a strip and tie it into a scrunchie shape with twine. You can experiment with shibori by using different methods and colours.
Remember to tag us if you try these methods! Insta – @toolboxforteens