Sunday, 6 October 2013

[DIY] Tie dye / dip dye (shibori inspired) bedding

| Update: featured on Apartment Therapy here. Whoo! |

I love nail polish. I really do. Sometimes I also have an urge to do things and don't think about the consequences. When I paint my nails I have a bad habit of doing it where I really shouldn't and so far I have tipped nail polish on wooden furniture (sorry Mum), wooden floors, bathrooms (not too bad, it cleans off tiles easily) and my most memorably, my white quilt.

Even though I could turn the quilt over so the Lincoln Park After Dark (gothic dark red/purple) didn't show, I always knew it was there and it meant my OCD self could not use it. So this quilt has been hanging around in the linen cupboard for a few years without being used, but I couldn't get rid of it. So it just sat in there taunting me about my nail polish spillage!

So I thought, why not give a go at a dip dye / tie dye / shibori inspired mash up.

It's not my first time dying fabric. I made some daybed pillows that are dip dyed which I quite like. Dying such a large expanse of fabric as a quilt is a little more difficult.

I used the dip dye / shibori kind of method as they work with the fabric dying a little unevenly, it works with the patterns that the string tying creates and gives it more personality. 

I knew a little about dip dying before after reading this article and this article by and then the tying technique was remembered from primary school!

Anyway, these are the steps I went through!

Purchase your dye. I got mine from Spotlight. I think it was around $6-$7. There are more expensive Dylon dyes but this one does the trick. Prop dye up against your sleeping cat to take a photo to amuse yourself!

Get your cotton quilt (the higher percentage cotton the quilt has, the more colour it will retain) and mark off with string at either end how far you want the dye to go up. Then tie string randomly from this point. Keep in mind that the tighter you tie, the more base colour (in my case white) there will be in the design as less dye penetrates.

Tying tightly with any kind of twine, mine is garden twine.

I left a larger section of quilt to be dyed at the bottom of the quilt, than at the top. No reason, just personal preference!

The white part in the middle will remain out of the dye and be white (ish). That was the plan anyway . . .

This is the pillow case. I decided the have equal amounts of blue on either side and only tie two pieces of string.

Follow the instructions on the packet. I decided to dye it in a large plastic storage container to minimise time that the dye was in contact with the sink to minimise cleanup. Put around 2 cups of hot, hot, hot water in the container and stir in the dye. The more you stir the better. I didn't stir that thoroughly and ended up with little red colour particles on some places. I quite like it, but may not be the look some go for! 

Before you place the fabric in the dye bath, wet the pieces that are to be dyed with hot water. Dip the parts that are supposed to be blue in the dye and try and keep the white pieces out of the dye any way you can. I rigged up a string system as there are some cupboard handles above the sink. You could also rest a broom over and loop the fabric over the broom. Whatever works really. The white fabric at the back left got a little splashed with dye. Whoops.

Keeping the middle part of the quilt out of the dye the best I could (without actually standing there are holding for 1/2 an hour)

Here you can see where I got a bit of dye on the part that was meant to be white.

Because the fabric is wet when you put it in the dye, the dye draws slightly up the fabric, even if it is not in the dye bath, so factor that in how far you dip it in the bath.

Once it has been in the dye bath for 30 minutes, chop off the string (making sure to not chop the fabric) and try not to touch the white bits with any blue bits. 

Rinse them off the best you can, again trying to not get dye on the white parts, try and rinse until the water runs clear. Then I placed all pieces in the washing machine on a cold rinse cyle. Now is a good time to have a scrub at your sink if any dye has gotten on it. The less amount of time the dye is on it the better.
Hang up and then marvel at the wonder of tie dye / dip dye / shibori like dye.

I like the blue, it is mellow enough to be layered with my black and white tribal pillowcases and grey sheets.

I like the result of the blue dye, the pillows have a much more intense colour though as they are a thicker, 100% cotton. I don't think that the quilt is 100% cotton and that is why the dye didn't take as well.
The splotchiness on the quilt was not intended, but I like it.

I love the lines that the strings create.

Complete and bed made (not ironed though, sorry, I am not that tidy).

All in all, a pretty quick process and gives great results.

Off to go hunt down something else I can dye!

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