Tie-dyeing fabric is an ancient process that dates back over 2000 years ago. It was fully developed by Japan, and called Shibori, which is a Japanese word for the methods of dyeing cloth by binding, stitching, folding and twisting. It has since taken over globally, and grown into various styles that have emerged from all different cultures. It wasn’t until the explosion of the colorful 60’s, that it really took over America. With the 60’s emphasizing individuality, and the “DIY” type attitude, tie-dye fit in just as well as bell bottoms. Coincidentally going perfect together.
Over 2000 years later, you can find some of the hottest designers today, taking inspiration from tie-dye. From tops to tights, skirts to scarves, tie-dyeing is not just for the old hanse white t-shirt anymore.Rebecca Minkoffs tie-die easy rider clutch is a perfect example. It’s still relevant and completely intriguing. Celebrities like AshleyTisdale, DrewBarrymore Lauren Conrad be found sporting this ancient trend in everything from leggings to dresses.
Tie-dye can also be done many different ways. There’s knot tying, spirals, circles, and pleats, just to name a few. See here, for a really great list and explanation of all types of twists and turns, that tie dyeing can involve. I personally am a huge fan of this ancient process, and have been working on the Japanese methods of dying fabric called Arashi. (Japanese for storm) It’s a pole wrapping technique, where you wrap a garment diagonally over a pole or cylinder shaped item, tightly bound with wire or string, then you scrunch up the garment and dye. It makes an incredible diagonal shaped pattern, that is both beautiful and easy to achieve. Without further ado, here is a step by step how to, on the Arashi Styled, Tie- Dyed dress.
The D.I.Y. (Arashi Styled) Tie Dyed Dress
What you will need
1. Jaquard Indigo Tie Die Kit
2. An old pole or cylinder object. I used the back end of an old broom. It made for easy dunking. ( You can use old PVC, or Copper Piping if you have some.)
3. Thread, Wire or String
4. Rubber Gloves
5. Four or Five gallon bucket-(16 Quartz)
6. Stick for stirring. ( An old wooden spoon, you are not going to use for sauce or soup anymore, is a good option)
7. Something to put on the floor, while you dye your garments. This can get messy. I used an old poncho. You can use garbage bags, or anything plastic like, incase you drip.
Before hand preparation
To start off, I’ve decided to use an Indigo dye kit, because I want my dress to be that cool indigo color. You can choose to use any color or brand of dye you want for this method. I have also displayed the RIT-Navy Blue color dye, which works just as well. I’ve decided to tie-dye a dress for summer, but again, you can really choose any garment you want, when using this method.
TIP -You want the garment your going to be tie-dying to start out white. Preferably cotton, or silk, or any kind of natural material. (Polyester materials, tend to be difficult.) Here’s a great site for ordering any kind of garment you can think of to tie-dye. I got my dress at Target
The next thing you are going to want to do is follow the dye preparation directions on your box of dye. This is really simple. You just want to make sure you dye is all pre-mixed and ready ahead of time. Now you are ready to start.
Lay your garment out flat on a hard surface in front of you. Press out any wrinkles or creases, and stretch the garment out so it lays perfectly.
You want to get your pole, or cylinder object, and begin to wrap your garment around it, on a diagonal.
After you have wrapped your garment up around your pole on a diagonal, you are going to want to tightly bound your garment by wrapping thread or wire up and down your pole.
After you have wrapped and bound your garment to your pole, you are going to want to scrunch down the garment on your pole as far as you can to one end, with out it coming off.
Your garment is ready to be dyed! Following the dye preparation directions on your box of dye is really simple. Generally you rinse your fabric with water, dip in the vat of dye that was prepared and pre-mixed before starting. Then you let your garment oxidize for 20 minutes, and then repeat the steps for darker shades. Make sure you read the directions on your box of dye. Sometimes they vary. This is why I found the broom stick really useful. I just dunked my garment in the dye, and was able to keep dunking it, and pulling it out to check on it. It is perfectly fine to just submerge your entire cylinder also.
TIP-Be aware that the color is much darker when wet and will fade after rinsing.
Once you have achieved the color or shade of tie dye you were going for, rinse the garment one more time with water, and undo the bindings to see the magic you have created. Let your garment air dry for at least 24 hours.
That’s it! You’re done. You have just mastered the ancient art of Japanese Arashi Tie Dyeing. How cool is that? Now all you have to do is get ready for all of the compliments that are going to come your way! If anyone has any questions or comments about this particular style of tie-dyeing, I would love to hear them. You can message me directly or comment on this post. I will be sure to answer any questions anyone has. Have fun creating!
Written by Tracy, of Project Tracy
Image via Victoria Secrets Catalog 10