Tie Dye July - Four Easy Folding Techniques

After reverse engineering and recreating a beautiful summer skirt that I recently purchased, all I need to do to finish the project is dye the material. It quickly became apparent to me that sewing the skirt was the easy part. Choosing a dyeing technique would be more difficult.

A quick internet search yielded tons of photos of individual tie dye designs. However, I wanted to look at multiple designs and see how each design was created all in one place.

I guess I was asking the impossible.

So, I decided to do a little tie dye experimentation on my own to learn how to create different effects by using various folding techniques.

I used RIT fabric dye for all of my examples. I applied my purple, gray and black dyes to the fabric with plastic water bottles after wetting the fabric thoroughly in warm water.

Here are my first four samples and how I created them.


This is the very easiest tie dye technique imaginable. You just wad the fabric up into a ball, secure it with a few rubber bands, and randomly apply as many colors of dye as you want.

Super easy!


Create concentric circles by first gathering the fabric where you want the center of the circle to be. Then wrap on some rubber bands, evenly spaced around the fabric. Finally, add color in each section between the rubber bands.

Right on target!

Accordion Fold Stripes

Fold your fabric like an accordion.  Apply your rubber bands evenly down the length of your folded fabric. Apply different colors to each section between the bands.

Stunning stripes!

Random Circles

Wrap rubber bands around small areas of the fabric. Apply color to the tips of the fabric (this is what color your circles will be.) Apply a second color to the rest of the fabric.

Plenty of polka dots!

One final note. If you are curious about how I created each grouping of pictures, I used Photoscape. I use it to edit all of my photos and the very best part is that it's free to download at http://www.photoscape.org/ps/main/download.php.

Love it? Share it. Make it.