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How to Make Indigo Dye with Rit Liquid Dyes

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 indigo dye… 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.

how to make indigo dye with rit for shibori

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.

Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links for products or services.

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.

Here is a video tutorial using an indigo dye kit. With over 200 reviews and a 4.5 star rating on Amazon, I’m sure it’s a great bet if you’d like to try using an indigo dye kit.

round itajime, shibori, technique, tie dye design

This tie dye design was created using round furniture slides. Learn more about this method and 4 other Shibori techniques in this post.

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? 

shibori, technique, tie dye design

This tie dye design was created using clothespins and clips. Learn more about this method and 4 other Shibori techniques in this post.

It’s up to you!

If you want to recreate a Japenese art and have the time to dedicate to the process, go with an Indigo Dye Kit. With over 200 reviews and a 4.5-star rating, this kit looks like a great choice.

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

How to Make Indigo Dye

How to Make Indigo Dye

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $15

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!

Materials

Tools

  • Glass Bowl
  • Mixing Spoon

Instructions

    1. First, heat 1 gallon of water to near-boiling.
    2. Once hot, pour the water into a glass bowl.
    3. Add 1/3 cup of Denim Blue Liquid Dye to the bowl. RIT liquid dyes and measuring cups
    4. Add 1-1/3 tbsp of Navy Blue Liquid Dye to the bowl.
    5. To enhance the color, add 1-1/2 cup of salt to the bowl. salt and measuring cup
    6. To prevent uneven dyeing, add 1 drop of liquid dish soap to the bowl. liquid dish soap
    7. Use a spoon to mix the ingredients together. bowl of indigo dye for shibori made with RIT liquid dyes

Ready to start making Shibori crafts? Learn more about Shibori:

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