I really love how incredibly simple methods can lead to amazingly interesting designs. Take a look at this piece: it was made using the shibori technique called ne-maki in which I wrapped beads in the fabric creating these beautiful circles.
- Cotton fabric
- Beads, marbles, or rocks
- Rubber bands or sinew
- Dye (see here for full details on preparing your dye)
- Plastic bag
First you’re going to need something to wrap in the fabric. I used two different sized beads to give some varying sized circles, but you could use all sorts of objects. Marbles would work great too for round circles. If you want something a little more irregular you could use pebbles or small rocks.
Take your object, wrap the fabric tightly around it and tie it off with a rubber band or sinew. The key here is tight so no dye works its way in. We want it to have those nice white circles.
Arrange them however you like! I did a couple tight clusters of big beads surrounded by smaller beads and added a few random beads into the leftover space.
It’s a bit time consuming to wrap all these beads, but I think it’s totally worth it.
After the beads are all tied it’s time to soak in soda ash solution for approximately 15 minutes.
When the time is up, squeeze the excess out the best you can (it’s difficult with the beads). Then it’s ready to be dyed!
I wanted an all over color, so I just saturated the entire piece with blue. But since we’re using tie dye, you could also use multiple colors! The circles kind of remind me of little suns, so I think next time I do this I’ll try a combination of yellow and orange.
After you’re done dying, wrap it in plastic and let it sit for 24 hours.
Rinse as much of the dye out before removing the rubber bands. Again, it’s hard to squeeze since the beads are in the way, but it helps to get out as much as possible first so you don’t end up transferring some dye to the nice white circles. After you’ve removed all the beads, give it another rinse in the sink before washing.
Now all that’s left is to decide what to sew with this gorgeous fabric!