First instructable here, so I'll keep it short and sweet. Me and my gf have been tie dying for a while now and we came up with a few cool ways to get different effects. I'm gonna show you one of our favorites today!
Step 1: Gather Materials
Theres jus a few things you need to get this going
I. Mostly cotton sheet, 60% minimum blend
II. Soda Ash
III. Fabric dye, any will do
IV. Latex gloves (vinyl if you got allergies)
V. Squirt Bottles
VI. Rubber Bands/Clamps
Step 2: Get Preppin
Start off by soaking your sheet in a soda ash solution. Most mixes are a packet you mix with a gallon of hot water. You only need to use enough to just get it wet, probably about 1/5 of the gallon. Let it soak for at least 20 min. Lay your tarp out in the meantime. After the 20 or so minutes have passed, gently wring out any excess/drippy water and slap it down on the tarp. You are ready to fold
Step 3: Fold Away
This is the whole key really to tie dying. Tying is a way over done form of it, but Fold Dying doesn't have the same ring to it. You want to lay it down flat, and fold it in half (NEATNESS with the folds from here on is key for crisp, intricate bleeding).
Fold it in half again, so you are looking at a quarter peice. Find the middle of the sheet, which is one of the corners which has 2 layers, and not 3 or 4 on the other corners. This corner will have our main attention now, and is the one circled red in the picture.
From that corner, fold either the corner to the left or right over, making a 45 degree triangle. Fold again, so it is a thin triangle. You now should have 16 layers, since in principle, you half it 4 times. Nows the tricky part
Step 4: Nitty Gritty
This is where the foldin gets stepped up just a little bit.
You want to start accordion style folding it now, from that special middle corner. Do about 6-7 layers, and wrap a rubber band around the whole thing. Make sure its stable on move on.
Skip up about 6 inches, and do the same thing, but about 5 layers this time accordion style. Do whatever means necessary to keep this together, bands, clamps, a combo ect....
The end point you can pretty much do anything to. I took a pole and wrapped it shibori (or something) style till there was about 5 inches from the last fold we did. Secure this anyway you can as well. The dying can begin...
Step 5: Mr. Bond I Want You to Dye!
The funnest part in my opinion. Theres no wrong way to really do this. Make sure your dye is prepped and ready to go in the squirt bottles. If you dont know how to make the mixture, its pretty easy. For example, take a tablespoon of powdered Tulip dye and mix it with hot water in the bottle. Make sure there is a little room at the top for room to shake it later. I used three colors for this one, you can use more or less.
Simple way to dye the folded sheet, keep it lines. Do three up and down on the first accordion part. Three varied sideways lines on the free space in between accordions. Go crazy and vary the colors and saturations across the next bigger accordion. Do thin, close lines on the rolled part, and then any creases that arent filled do a solid line across those. Dont be afraid to put a lot of dye in, it wont bleed through unless you do. You can always flip it over to check/reinforce bleeding.
Step 6: Wait & Clean
You need to wait at least 8 hours before washing it out, preferably overnight or 16 hours. More than a day and chemically, the unbonded dye starts to do weird things to this fabric and it loses color. Take it it the tub and rinse with hot water. Keep rinsing until no more dye is running out. This should take at least 20 MIN with good handling. Throw it by itself or with other dyed things and wash it for 2 cycles, the second one having a little detergent in the run. Throw that baby in the dryer and you are good to go.
Step 7: Enjoy!
After it dries, lay it out on the floor to see your work! We sometimes refold it again over parts that didnt bleed with different colors and the results are trippy nonetheless! Try experimenting and let me know if you find something cool! Feel free to use this somewhere else, just give me credit for what you use at the end!