Today I’m showing you the last of three methods for tying mandalas. This is probably the quickest and easiest method.
1. Start by folding in quarters, then into triangles. (See the in-depth mandala folding tutorial for two different ways to form the triangles.) One I folded just the two times like in the tutorial, but for the other I added in one extra triangle fold (so three folds on each half).
2. Check for the shortest fold of fabric. Using a washable marker, draw a curved line a couple inches inside that fold.
3. Starting from the center, twist the fabric into a spiral. Hold tight! The fabric is going to want to unravel.
4. Keep twisting until you reach the line. Use rubber bands, twine, or sinew to hold the spiral in place.
5. Finish off the excess bottom fabric however you like. Try twisting, folding or just crumpling.
I made two different mandalas using this method, both ice dyed. Tie dyeing would give you greater control over where your colors are placed on the fabric. Ice dyeing has more of a random effect on the final result. If you want to ice dye but want a little more control over where the colors go, you could apply the dye powder directly on the fabric and place the ice over it. I happen to like the random magic of ice dyeing, so I placed the dye over the ice.
For the first I tried to place yellow and orange over the spiral part and blue at the edges (top of the picture above). Some of the blue ended up a little too close and got into the spiral. Of all the mandalas, this is the one I was least happy with. This is how it turned out:
For the second I randomly sprinkled purple and blue dye. I really like all the detailed lines in this one.
Of the three methods of tying mandalas, I think this is the least successful if you want to ice dye. It was fine for the one that I randomly sprinkled, but you’re really going to want to use colors that all blend well together. It was a lot harder to try to add dye with some intention, especially with the blue and the yellow mixing a bit.
If you like mandalas but don’t want to dye them yourself, I have some hand dyed mandala quilt panels available in my store too.