Want to learn how to tie dye? Well you're in the right place. Thanks to Furniture Choice, we have a really easy step-by-step guide. Forget the technicoloured tie dye of the 80s and 90s, this retro pattern has had a significant definite glow up for 2020 – it's more subtle, more moody and way more stylish.
DIYing the look really couldn't be easier. We've chosen to give napkins a new, boho life, but really this would work for pillows, cushion covers, curtains and even bedding. Go mad, tie dye everything.
Looking for more crafts or DIY projects? Head over to our hub page.
You will need:
- Fabric dye (opens in new tab) (you can obviously pick your colour but indigo is traditionally used for Shibori)
- Plastic dust sheets (opens in new tab)
- Rubber bands
- Rubber gloves
- White cotton napkins (opens in new tab) (or whatever you are dying - pillow cases, cushions, bedding all will work)
- Bucket (opens in new tab)
- Empty squeeze bottle
Step one: wash your napkins
Before tie dying any fabric pop it in the washing machine first. Don't use fabric softener though as it might stop the dye soaking in later.
- Psttt... if you have given up already, just shop tie dye homeware below:
Step two: prepare the dye
While your napkins are in the washing machine, you can start preparing your dye. Use the instructions on the packet of dye you have chosen for this step, as it does vary. For example, some suggest adding salt as this means the dye will absorb faster.
Mix your dye in a bucket that will be large enough to allow you to immerse whatever you are dying. Or, if you are dying something smaller, mix your dye into an empty squeezy bottle for easy application.
Step three: create your pattern
There are loads of different ways you can tie up your napkins and get different effects. Here are our favourites...
Begin by laying the napkin out flat, then pinch and twist the centre of the napkin. Keep twisting the fabric from the centre until the entire napkin is twisted up. Tie together with rubber bands crossing over in the centre – we'd recommend around six to ensure it's secure.
For a marbled effect:
Basically, all you have to do with this is crumble the napkin into a ball and secure with plenty of rubber bands. Simple, yet effective.
Pleat the napkin, folding forwards and backwards until it forms a thin long piece. Then tie bands around it in equal sections.
Choose exactly where you want your circles to be and pinch these areas, pulling up a bit of the fabric and then securing with a band. Repeat this for as many circle as you would like.
Remember, the more fabric above the rubber band, the bigger the circle will be.
Step four: get dying
Place your napkins onto a plastic dust sheet. This might get messy so make sure the surface you are working on is completely covered and there is nothing in the nearby vicinity.
Take your squeezy bottle and carefully squeeze the dye onto the areas you tied with the bands. Now leave them for 24 hours to dry.
Step five: rinse the napkins
Once dry, rinse your napkins under cold water, until the water runs clear. Then, take off the rubber bands and again run the napkins under water until the water runs clear. Finally, pop the napkins in the washing machine, take them out, dry and iron. Voila.
*DIY step by step thanks to Furniture Choice (opens in new tab)