Chakra Fold Tie-Dye Technique

By Daniel G. Van Olst

Materials Needed:

  • A long thin waterproof form, maybe 4 or 5 inches wide and about as long as the diagonal on your flags. I use one side of a Dharma fabric box covered in Saran Wrap, so it’s about 5″ by 45″.
  • About a dozen rubber bands, big newspaper ones, not the wimpy little ones.
  • An old beach towel you can get dye on.

Step One:

Double your silk and drape over one end of the form where you want your center point to and secure with a rubber band.

Step Two:

Pleat fabric from left to right.

Be sure to tug down a bit as you add each pleat, so that all of the pleats are the same length in the long direction as well as the short direction.

Step Three:

Place all pleats on the right side of form and secure with rubber band.

Step Four:

Spread pleats evenly to left side of form.

Step Five:

Even out pleats and tug so that fabric is even.

Step six:

Repeat every 8 inches or so, working down the form until done.

It helps if you preload an extra rubber band every time you complete a row of pleats, so that you have it handy for the next row.

Completed tie job, both front and back.

Step seven:

Put assembly on old towel and apply dye.

You need to completely finish applying dye to the front side before going on.

You can’t go back.

Step eight:

Flip assembly onto towel.

Step nine:

Cut rubber bands and remove form.

Step ten:

Apply dye to back side, attempting to remember in the process what you did to the front side.

Step eleven:

Make a rolled log of fabric and baggies.

Stick the entire thing in another baggie and secure with rubber bands.

Step twelve:

Nuke it!

the complpleted dye job

I’ve learned with the dye application that you don’t want anything too complicated, otherwise you end up with a “frog-in-a-blender” effect; and you don’t want to apply horizontal bands, since you end up with concentric rings that might be better achieved with a radial fold.

Simple diagonal striped patterns seem to work well.

~ Dan

Daniel G. Van Olst

Author Daniel G. Van Olst

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