If you follow me on instagram you know my inspiration for Calvin’s nursery was indigo and California cool. I included some fab indigo dyed details, which is why today’s guest post from my sweet and uber-talented friend Jesi Haack is so perfect. I know you’ll love it as much as I do.
Indigo dyeing seems to be all the rage lately, and we wanted in on that action! We used dyeing methods based on the Japanese tie-dyeing technique called Shibori. We decided to make a cool and relaxed Shibori-inspired bedding set, perfect for the warm summer months.
- Indigo Tie Dye Kit
- (2) 5-gallon (or larger) bucket or tub, preferably with a lid or cover
- long NON-metal stir stick
- items to dye (natural fibers in white or cream work best)
- drop cloth
- rubber gloves (optional, but highly recommended)
WHAT TO DO
- Fill 1 bucket with cold water and set aside.
- To make your dye bath, fill the second bucket with 4 gallons of warm water and add the contents of the dye kit (which include dye, soda ash, and a reducing agent). Gently, but thoroughly, stir the vat in a circular motion. Once the vat is well mixed, cover with a lid and allow it to sit for 15-30 minutes (the longer the better). The dye should be a yellow-greenish color.
- While it sits, you can prep your items for dyeing with rubber bands. The kit provides a few different folding and tying methods and we found a couple others by searching online. It’s so fun to mix and match and get creative with the folding methods!
- Once you have your items prepped and ready to go, soak them in water, then squeeze it out.
- Slowly submerge your items (one at a time worked best for us!) into the dye bath and manipulate the piece with your hands to make sure the dye reaches the unbound parts evenly. Work under the surface of the bath through this process, carefully avoiding letting too much oxygen get through with bubbles or splashing. You can leave your items soaking for as long as you want, but we did about 15 minutes.
- When removing each item from the bath, try to squeeze out as much dye just below the surface (again, to avoid splashing). The fabric will be the same yellow-greenish color as the bath. Not to worry, as the fabric will oxidize after a few minutes and will gradually turn indigo blue!
- You can leave your items folded/tied while they oxidize or unfold them if you cannot wait another minute to see how the patterns turned out! We opted to leave them folded and bound in hopes that the dye would bleed into the fabric more.
- Once your items are fully oxidized, rinse them in the cold water bath and hang them up to dry (i.e. admire them as you pat yourself on the beauty you just created)!
- After you’re done dyeing the items, you’ll want to set the indigo dye in the fabric and lock in the color.
- Start by filling a washing machine with cold water and adding a capful of liquid delicate detergent.
- Put in your dyed items when the machine is about half full. Allow the wash cycle to run, but stop the machine before the rinse cycle starts.
- Add 2 cups white vinegar to the rinse water and let items soak in this solution for at least 2 hours.
- Turn the machine back on and let it continue with the rinse cycle.
- Let everything air dry.
- Use a steam iron at the hottest setting to press the fabric all over.
Everything turned out so great and we found that our “sheet” doubles as a unique tablecloth!
It SOUNDS like the whole process is very involved, but once you get set up, the whole thing is actually super easy and weirdly relaxing. How fun would it be to have a girls’ day in and throw a little indigo party to reinvent some of your old forgotten white tanks and sweats?
CREDITS: Photos: Brian Tropiano for Jesi Haack Design / Production: Kay Lee for Jesi Haack Design / Jesi Haack Design is a member of our Lovely Vendor Guide. If you’d like to be considered, apply here.