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Tie Dye Folding Techniques

Bidisha Mukherjee
In tie dyeing, the folding techniques play a vital role. You can obtain a specific design on the fabric only if you have the knowledge of knot and the twists. Here, we have discussed various tie dye folding techniques.
Tie Dye is a traditional method of dyeing fabrics. It is popular across many cultures all over the world. It became a fashion statement and was often referred to as a hippie style in the latter half of the 1960s.
It is not that it looks good only on clothing, as the method can be used for curtains, bed linen, sheets, and anything you wish. On that note, this write-up gives some information about the tie dye folding techniques.

Tie Dye Technique

The basic materials required for tie dye are gloves, rubber bands, spray bottles, soda ash, dyes, and plastic sheet to cover up the work area. The fabric should preferably be white or some light color.
Otherwise, you cannot obtain the intended color on the fabric. It is also essential to wash and dry up the fabric before application. A large variety of dyes are available in the market. Select the dyes that can be mixed in cold water. Read the instructions provided by the manufacturer in the label of the dye and follow them carefully.
Tie the fabric with rubber bands where you do not want the color. There are many folding techniques for the fabric, and each of them will give you a different design. Pour the dye color and the soda ash into a bottle and add water to it.
Soda ash helps to hold the dye on the fabric. The shade of the color depends upon the quantity of water added. Larger quantity of water means a lighter shade. Shake the bottle so that the water and dye get mixed up very well.
Spray dye on those areas of the fabric where you like to see that color. You can use a number of colors and apply them one by one. Make sure you do not use too many colors, as the may make the fabric look messy.
Keep it untouched for at least 4 - 6 hours and allow the dye to dry up. Wash it with warm water either in a washing machine or even by a hand wash. Thus, the fabric has been dyed.

Tie Dye Folding Techniques

In the process of tie dyeing, the design that you are going to get at the end depends upon the pattern of the fold that you make on the fabric. Some common tie dyeing folding techniques have been discussed here.

Knot Tie:

This is one of the most simple methods. Hold both the ends of the fabric together and twist it in the form of a rope. Then, make a number of knots on this rope. Make sure all the knots are tight enough so that they do not loosen up while dyeing. In order to tighten them further, you can use rubber bands. Now, your fabric is ready to be dyed.


This is an easy method of folding. Place the fabric to be dyed on a plain surface. Take any one end of the fabric and start gathering it in a similar manner as an accordion is folded. As a result, a shape of the tube is obtained. Then, you have to secure the fold with the help of rubber bands at proper gaps. Then dye the fabric.


Spread the fabric on a flat work surface. Pinch the fabric at its middle using your fingers and rotate it gradually to create a spiral. Make sure that the rest of the fabric is flattened after making every twist.You will find all the creases that have formed as a result of swirling, have gathered in the same area of the flat surface.
Tie a rubber band an inch or two below where you are holding the fabric so that the spiral effect remains intact. If the cloth is large in size, you have to put more rubber bands after a gap of two inches. Now, you can dye the edges of each crease.


Pull up a small section of the cloth with your fingers and tie a rubber band around it tightly. Take another area randomly a few inches away from the tied spot and tie it in the same way. Continue this till the entire fabric is covered. It also depends upon the number of circles you want on it.
The size of the circle depends upon the fabric that has been tied. If you have taken small sections of the fabric, then the circles formed will be small in size, and for bigger circles more fabric need to be tied. Now, spray the dye all over except the tied areas. The result will be that you will get circles.
There are many more folding techniques that can give you some unique patterns. You can also come up with more new ideas on your own and experiment with them. I am sure you will have lots of fun creating new designs.