Tie Dye Folding Techniques

When you tie dye, the folding techniques you use are important because the way you fold the fabric determines the kinds of patterns you'll have. There are many different tie dye folding techniques, and each offers a unique design. If you experiment with folding techniques, you'll know what to expect when you work on new tie dyeing projects. It's a lot more fun than folding laundry.

Knot Tying
One of the most simple tie dye methods is knot tying. You hold the cloth at each end and twist it into rope. Take this rope and tie it into a knot. You want the knot to be as tight as possible. Tie as many knots as you can and consider using rubber bands to keep the knots in place or to reinforce them.

Making Tie Dye Spirals
Lay the fabric out on a flat surface. Place your thumb and fingers together on the cloth where you want the center of the design to be. Start twisting (create a spiral), flattening the fabric after each twist so that it stays flat. You don't want the folds to rise or lump up. Bring the loose ends into the circle so it looks like you have a pancake. Take rubber bands and slide them on so that they intersect like a wheel's spokes.

Creating Tie Dye Stripes
The stripes folding technique involves rolling the fabric loosely so that you have a tube of cloth. Wrap bands around the tube at intervals (where you want the stripes to be). You want the bands to be tight, so either use several rubber bands or wrap them around a few times.

Making Tie Dye Circles
The circle folding technique involves picking up the fabric with your thumb and forefinger at the point of your desired circle. With your other hand, you want to arrange even pleats around the middle point (picture an umbrella). Let go of the top and tie an anchor knot around the base. You will continue wrapping to the top of the structure and back down again. You want the ties to be as tight as possible.

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Tie dye is a great way to make old things new again and once you learn the basic tie dye techniques and instructions, you can start updating unloved t-shirts, jersey knits, even bed linens. For best results, always use 100% natural fibers and perfect your technique or experiment with new ones on fabric remnants that you can afford to ruin.

Tie dye is a great way to put your own personal touch on things like shoes, bedding, shirts and other fabric items. Tie dye designs allow you to make your own unique crafts.

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