Welcome to the second of three mandala tying tutorials! This week I’m showing you how to tie a lotus mandala.
1. Start by folding in quarters, then into triangles. (See the in-depth mandala folding tutorial for two different ways to form the triangles.) I added in one extra triangle fold (so three folds on each half) to make the final product more flowery looking.
It was hard to keep the point from unfolding, so I used a chip clip to keep it in place. Isn’t he cute?
2. Check for the shortest fold of fabric. Using a washable marker, draw your first line at an angle a couple inches inside that fold.
3. Continue drawing angles by zig-zagging back and forth until you’ve reached the top.
4. Tie a slip knot in the sinew and wrap it around the fabric, lining it up with the bottom line.
5. Pull the slip knot tight to bunch up the fabric. Make sure the sinew stays along the line. The first one is the hardest to keep in place. Wrap the sinew a couple more times and pull tight to tie off. (Check out my tips for tying tight sinew.) Continue wrapping the fabric along all the drawn lines.
6. Finish off the excess bottom fabric however you like. Try twisting, folding or just crumpling.
7. Now your fabric is ready to either tie dye or ice dye!
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.
The first was just randomly sprinkled with pink and purple (at the top of the photo). Here’s how that turned out:
In the second the dye was sprinkled in lines starting from the center: blue, green, blue, green, yellow, brown.
Check back next week for the final mandala tutorial!
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.
How did you lay the mandala on the rack?flat? Many folds pointing up or down?
Pretty much flat, like the second photo in step 5.
Fascinating! I’m going to try this. What and where did you get the Mylar bags? Thank you so much for being here!
That’s actually aluminum foil. I fold it in half the long way and then create a tube so it is open on both ends to allow for drainage. It just helps keep the ice in place and the dye above the fabric. I’ve seen other people use cardboard but I like the foil because I can just clean it off and use it multiple times. It’s also easy to make exactly the size you need for the amount of fabric you are dyeing.
I thought you were going to say that. Yes, I like the idea of the aluminum foil. It’s reusable! Thank you for responding!
I tried your foil method, and it is much easier to keep the dye and the ice under control. I found I used less ice because of this, too. Thanks for sharing such a good tip.
I absolutely love the color combo of the pink and purple. Would you mind sharing the brand and color names of the dyes you used? When I try to mix pink and purple, it looks too harsh, but your mandala feels sort of calming. It’s stunning. Thank you so much!
I buy my dyes from Dharma Trading Co. For that particular piece I randomly sprinkled Grape and Fuchsia over the ice.
You rock! Thanks a bunch.
Sorry, I’m new to the DIY tie dye world, but once you sprinkle the dye onto the ice, do you just place the ice on top of the fabric laying on the rack? Or do you place the fabric in the aluminum tube you made?
You can read the tutorial on how to ice dye here. In this picture I had put the fabric down on the rack, put the aluminum ring around it, then filled the ring with ice and sprinkled the dye.
What brand of artificial sinew do you use? I’m not sure what to buy.
I use this from Dharma Trading, but I’m sure there are other places you could buy some.
Thanks for the quick reply–I’m off to order some!
Both of these pieces are so freaking beautiful. They’re just magical. Thanks so much for sharing this tie dye sorcery! I’m going to give it a try tomorrow!