By Brookelynn Morris
One of my favorite treatments for textiles is shibori dying. Shibori is an ancient traditional Japanese craft that involves binding fabric around a relief and then dying it in indigo. Once the relief is removed, intricate patterns are left behind.
Shibori is similar to tie-dye, but the art is much more precise, simple, and sophisticated. It can be done by wrapping fabric around bamboo stalks, by folding and clamping, or by stitching the fabric and tugging the threads tight. But for this project, I dug into the junk drawer and used a can full of marbles and a ton of rubber bands. And instead of a vat of indigo, I updated the color palette with turquoise Tulip One-Step Fashion Dye from ILoveToCreate.com. I don’t think there is an easier way to dye anything! The traditional Japanese shibori artist is an apprentice for 13 years, but I had my new bedspread done in just one day.
Plain white duvet cover (Mine was king-sized)
Tulip One-Step Fashion Dye, 3 bottles
Marbles, various sizes
Rubber bands, various sizes
Plastic drop cloth
Plastic bags and cellophane
Washing machine and dryer
Step 1: Prepare your work surface by laying out the plastic drop cloth. Sketch out a design that you love. I went for a random scattering along the diagonal of the duvet cover.
Step 2: Shibori dying relies on fastening the fabric around a relief. One simple relief technique is to secure a marble on the backside of the fabric with a rubber band.
Hold the marble to the back of both layers of fabric, then wrap the rubber band around the top of the fabric as tightly as you can. To make sure the marble is held in place, give the fabric a good tug.
Step 3: Everywhere that you want a diamond, tie in a marble.
Step 4: Once you have tied all the marbles, get the fabric wet with water. Then, don your gloves and fill the Tulip One-Step Fashion Dye bottle with water up to the line. Shake the bottle vigorously until all the dye powder is dissolved. The prepared dye is best used in the next 45 minutes.
Step 5: Now, just cover the duvet with dye. I emptied the first bottle down the center where my marbles were. Then I filled in the corners with the second bottle, and used the third bottle of dye for filling in the spots that I missed. To blend in all the drops of dye, massage the fabric by kneading it all over with your hands. I really got a workout with the heavy, water-soaked duvet cover, but the dye became homogenous and took to the fabric beautifully.
Step 6: Cover the duvet with plastic to keep it damp, leave it for 6-8 hours, then rinse it out as well as you can. Remove all the rubber bands and collect all the marbles before you throw it in the washer and dryer. Follow the Tulip One-Step Fashion Dye’s easy instructions for washing and caring for the fabric in its early stages. Voila!