- Cotton material/cushion cover/t-shirts etc
- Inktense Blocks
- Craft Knife
- Scrap paper
- Elastic bands
- Protective sheet/baking parchment
- Marbles/polystyrene balls/large beads (optional)
Firstly, gather all the materials you’ll need and prepare the table you’re working on. This tie-dye technique will work on all cotton material; you can even buy blank/white pre-made cushions or t-shirts to decorate. As well as your fabric you’ll need Inktense blocks, a spritzer, a piece of scrap or printer paper, and elastic bands. Marbles, polystyrene balls or large beads are optional, but you may find it easier to tie your elastic bands around a spherical object. Lay a protective sheet or baking parchment down to ensure your work surface doesn’t get marked. Newspaper is not advisable as the ink from the paper is likely to transfer to your work once it gets wet later in the process.
Place a polystyrene ball underneath the fabric and tie an elastic band around it from the other side. If you don’t want to use these simply pinch the fabric instead, and tie your elastic band around the base of the gathered bunch. The larger the bunch you pinch the wider those distinctive tie-dye circles will be. Do this several times over the fabric in positions where you want the circle designs to appear.
Fold your piece of scrap or printer paper in half and open up so the crease is down the middle. Using a craft knife carefully shave an Inktense block onto the paper until you have a generous amount of pigment to work with. The more shavings you create the more intense the colour will appear on your work. Gently tip the shavings into a spritzer pre-filled with water. Replace the lid onto the spritzer and shake vigorously until all the Inktense has dissolved in the water.
Then simply spritz the colour all over your fabric. Unlike traditional tie-dye techniques where fabric is usually soaked in ink from a bottle, the pigment will only sit exactly where you spritz so make sure all the creases are exposed where you want the colour to appear. Use as many colours as you like. Experiment with the different texture, colour runs and dribble effects you can create with a spritzer.
Once you’re finished spritzing, leave the fabric to dry overnight or until touch-dry. Remove the elastic bands to reveal the finished design. Inktense products are permanent once dry, and can be safely washed by hand at a cold temperature (max 30°). We recommend you use water only, and avoid harsh detergents.
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