Saturday, 24 October 2015

Indigo Daze // DIY Shibori Bedding

Shibori is a form of tie-dyeing which originates in Japan. Areas of fabric are folded, wrapped, twisted or pleated in special ways and then secured with string, rubber bands or clamps. The fabric is then dyed with unique patterns emerging when the fabric has been untied or unwound. Shibori is also often related to the tradition of Indigo dyeing, a natural dye process which has long been used in many different cultures around the world. Indigo is a natural dye extracted from plants and is one of the oldest dyes used for colouring fabrics. I have always had a love for the rich, vivid blue hues from using indigo dye, and when paired with crisp white, the two remind me of the crashing blue waves, cloudy blue skies and delicate blue and white porcelain.
I've often experimented with tie-dye and reverse tie-dye in the past and have wanted to try dyeing with Indigo in what seems like forever. So, with aspiration to create a new bedroom space and decor based around an Indigo, white and copper colour palette, now seemed like as good a time as any.

I picked up an Jacquard Indigo Tie Dye Kit from Amazon and this 100% cotton double duvet set from Ikea. When choosing your bedding, fabric or clothing to dye, you need to look out for all natural fibres, cotton, wool, silk and linen, for example. Pre-wash your item(s) before dyeing to remove any 'finishes' to the fabric and allow for shrinking.

The instructions that came with the kit was easy, most of the hard work had already been done. All I had to do was set up the dye vat and and follow each step. The hardest bit was deciding on which technique to use. I decided to use the shape resist technique Itajime. For this technique, fabric is laid in accordian folds and sandwhiched between two identically shaped and sized boards. This is then all held in place by clamps, string or rubber bands. When the fabric is dyed, the bound areas act as a resist meaning a fairly regular pattern is produced.

I folded my duvet cover and pillowcases using this technique, folding them into triangles and used rubber bands to hold the wooden triangular boards in place during the dyeing process.
So, now that I've tried it I can't wait to experiment more. It's such a versatile craft, there are so many options for creating different patterns and it's super easy with an almost instant reward. I'm pretty pleased with how my bedding turned out. The duvet cover was quite awkward to fold pecisely and it was quite bulky when folded, so was a little tricky to hold in place, but I got there in the end. You can see how the pattern and dye is more concentrated around the outer edges, where the middle has a softer blue hue and less pattern definition but I still think it works. Perhaps a larger sized triangle with less folds would produce more pattern definition?
The thing I love about dyeing fabric in this way is that it's only semi-guaranteed to turn out a certain way, with lots of beautiful surprises and patterns awaiting, depending on how and where the dye finds its path. I love the results and am already deciding what to dye and what techniques to try next.

1 comment :

  1. Ok, definitely to give this a go! Love it used for bedding!


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