The key to a successful dyeing session is to spend the time preparing the fabric with the “resist” materials. The folds, pleats, bands and beads stop the fabric from absorbing the dye, making the distinctive Shibori patterns.
Please note that everything touching the dye will get coloured with the blue dye – your hands, pegs, bucket. Be prepared !
If using new clothing, it’s better to wash and dry prior to dye-ing.
For creating circular small patterns, hold the piece of fabric in palm of hand where pattern is to ‘print’, place a glass stone on the fabric, hold underneath and pinch your fingertips together, flip over fabric holding the pinched stone, and using a small rubber band, stretch it twist it around the stone a few times so it is tight.
Repeat step of wrapping glass stones with rubber bands where you want pattern to form. For example, a row along the border of a sleeve or dress
For white lines, fold fabric in concertina shape, like folding a paper fan, place a chopstick on the top and one underneath.
Tie together with rubber bands, by wrapping around one end then stretching and crossing over to the other end.
For the effect of lots of lines close together, wrap the fabric around a plastic pipe or tube, and roll on lots of rubber bands close together.
Add 5 litres of hot water to a bucket. Fill second bucket full with cold water. This is the rinsing bucket.
Open up the Konya Indigo Dyeing Kit pouch. Inside you will find a packet of indigo crystals and another sachet of powder.
Wear the rubber gloves and mix the indigo crystals into the water using a long large metal spoon or wooden stick. Note that this will dye blue.
Stir until dissolved. It will have a metallic appearance on the surface.
Add the packet of white powder, stir in until dissolved. Wait 20 minutes
Dip the fabric piece in the indigo dye mixture.
Using metal tongs, immerse the fabric in the dye mixture and swish around until well covered.
Take out of the dye bath. It will be a bright lime green.
Squeeze out the excess dye.
The dyed fabric will begin to turn blue as the indigo oxidises, reacting to the air.
Place the dyed piece in a bucket or sink or on a covered surface while dyeing the other pieces. Keep it separate to clean fabric or other surfaces because the dye will stain other objects.
Take each piece and plunge into rinsing bucket. Swish around to rinse.
Remove with tongs and squeeze out excess water. Repeat with the other dyed items. A second rinse in a bucket of hot water is recommended to remove any excess dye.
Remove all the rubber bands and strings with scissors. Shake out and dry flat on towel until drips stop. Hang out to dry.
Once dry, the items can be immersed in a bucket of water mixed with the bottle of fixative included in the kit and then dried. This prevents dye from ‘running’ when washing the items.
For a PDF version of this tutorial, click here.
To buy the Konya Indigo Dye Kit from the HOW shop, go here.