This post may contain affiliate links.
Do you love the look of Shibori? Learn how to make your own indigo dye for Shibori projects. Save money by making indigo dye at home for Shibori decor, fashion, and craft projects!
Ya’ll, my fingers are turning blue! Why? Well, all week long they’ve been soaking in dark dyes… due to my recent obsession with the art of Shibori. I’ve loved the look for a while now, but just recently gave the technique a try for myself.
And, guess what?
It’s so simple! Seriously, if you love a good craft project, this is one to try. It took some trial and error, but I learned a lot along the way. You can check out my 5 favorite Easy Shibori Techniques to learn how to make gorgeous indigo patterns!
However, before you can make any Shibori design, you’ve got to start with a good dye.
Indigo Dye Kits vs. Rit Indigo Dye Recipes
Indigo Dye Kits: Pros
- The dying process is more authentic with a closer resemblance to the ancient Japanese art of Shibori.
- Once the fabric is dyed, the dye bath will last for several days, in case you want to dye additional fabric pieces.
- The process requires multiple dips in the dye which results in the very deep, dark, indigo colors that can be found in Shibori products.
Indigo Dye Kits: Cons
- Preparation of the dye bath requires time for “settling” which can range in time from .5 hour – 1.5 hours.
- The fabric must be dipped, and re-dipped into the dye bath (up to 7 times), while also allowing for 20+ minutes of oxidation between each dip.
Rit Indigo Dye Recipes: Pros
- Preparation of the dye bath can be completed in a matter of minutes.
- The fabric only needs to be dipped once, for 3-5 minutes and can be rinsed approximately 5 minutes after it is removed from the dye bath.
Rit Indigo Dye Recipes: Cons
- Lack of authenticity since a Rit Indigo Dye Recipe is a “faux” Shibori indigo dye. Authentic indigo is a plant-based material which was used in the origins of the Japanese dyeing technique.
So, which is better?
It’s up to you!
I, on the other hand, am squeezing craft projects in between naps, countless snacks (really! how can they be hungry every hour), and housework. If you are like me, a Rit Indigo Dye Recipe is the perfect solution for quick and simple crafting.
Plus, since it wasn’t time-consuming, my kids were able to get in on the tie dye action, too. No way they’d be interested in dipping the same fabric every 20 minutes for several hours.
Indigo Dye Recipe
- Denim Blue Liquid Dye: 1/3 cup
- Navy Blue Liquid Dye: 1-1/3 tbsp
- Salt (sea salt or table salt): 1-1/2 cup
- Liquid Dish Soap: 1 drop
- Hot Water (near boiling): 1 gallon
- First, heat 1 gallon of water to near boiling.
- Once hot, pour the water into a glass bowl.
- Add 1/3 cup of Denim Blue Liquid Dye to the bowl.
- Add 1-1/3 tbsp of Navy Blue Liquid Dye to the bowl.
- To enhance the color, add 1-1/2 cup of salt to the bowl.
- To prevent uneven dyeing, add 1 drop of liquid dish soap to the bowl.
- Use a spoon to mix the ingredients together.
Time: approx. 5 minutes
Makes: approx. 1 gallon of Indigo Dye
Ready to start making Shibori crafts? Learn more about Shibori:
- Check out 5 simple Shibori Techniques to try, for various tie dye designs and patterns.
- Follow a step by step tutorial for DIY Shibori Napkins — the perfect beginner Shibori project!
- Find the Best Fabric Products for Shibori and Tie Dye Projects (COMING SOON – Sign up for my email list to be notified when the post is live!)