A Table Setting To DYE For: Indigo Shibori Dyed Napkins

table setting napkin shibori tie dye natural indigo

When you think of summer, what comes to mind? BBQ’s and Soirée’s. Delicious food, amazing friends, good music, crisp cocktails and of course beautiful table settings.  And what could be more exciting than having your own handmade and naturally dyed, light and airy table setting? 

So we decided to adventure into the world of tie dyeing and make linen napkins hand-dyed using the Japanese technique Shibori. Shibori tie-dye consists of dyeing clothes using natural indigo through folding, binding, and twisting of the fabrics. The fun part is that you could literally bind or fold any way you can, and they are still going to look amazing, so try to have fun and make your own shapes!


What You Need

Apprvl Indigo Dye Kit. Available At Grass Roots Juicery.

Apprvl Indigo Dye Kit. Available At Grass Roots Juicery.

-Apprvl Indigo Dye Kit
-Linen Napkins and any other items you want to dye
-Bucket
-Lid to cover the bucket

The great thing about the Apprvl Indigo Dye Kit is that it comes with everything you need – except the bucket! Inside the kit, you'll find instructions, rubber bands, gloves, sticks, wooden blocks, indigo, thiox, and soda ash.

 

Instructions


The first step is to get your dye ready. Follow the instructions enclosed in your Apprvl dye kit. Start by filling up a bucket with warm water about ¾ full. Then add the indigo, the thiox, and the soda ash, and mix slowly. Cover with lid and let it sit while you prepare and fold your fabrics.

Sab Mixing Indigo Vat Slowly

Sab Mixing Indigo Vat Slowly

We tried a couple of different folding techniques including Arashi, Kumo, and Itajime. Arashi consists of wrapping the fabric around a pole ( we used a gigantic PVC tube that we had at the store), and the wrapping very tightly a string around it and scrunching the fabric, the final look is a series of beautiful lines. Kumo, we called it the “nibs” and it consists of tying really closely smalls buds (some people tie around rocks). We wanted to use the wooden blocks, so we used Itajime, which is the name for the shape-resist technique (meaning the dye won’t get in where the wooden blocks are).

Kumo and Itajime Wrapping Techniques. Bracelets by Susan Alexandra. Available at Grass Roots Juicery.

Kumo and Itajime Wrapping Techniques. Bracelets by Susan Alexandra. Available at Grass Roots Juicery.

After you have folded and bound all your fabrics, you are ready to begin. First, rinse all of your fabrics in warm water. Make sure is not boiling because your items could shrink a bit. FYI, we tried some t-shirts, and they shrunk a little Ha! Anyway, now you are ready to dip! Dip your items repeatedly in the indigo vat, and massage the fabric a little to make sure the dye sets in. The longer you let your items sit in the indigo, the darker the color will be. We dipped our items twice to make sure they really got the color we wanted.

Dipped Kumo Napkin

Dipped Kumo Napkin

After you have dipped everything, you have to let it oxidize (sit there in touch with the oxygen) for about 20 minutes. We flipped ours to make sure the color was even on both sides. Don’t be scared if they look yellow/green at the beginning- It just means it needs to be oxidized a little more!

Let fabrics oxidize for about 20 min.

Let fabrics oxidize for about 20 min.

Then just rinse your fabrics with water and undo the bindings. Hang items to dry and just sit back and admire your new beautiful creations!

Hang and let air dry!

Hang and let air dry!

Beautiful dyed linens

Beautiful dyed linens

We dyed 3 T-shirts, 4 napkins, 3 kitchen towels, and 3 large clothes, and we STILL had some indigo vet left! If you want to save your dye and continue the next day, just make sure you cover it and it will still be good for like 3 more days.

After you are done, just invite your closest friends and show off your new table setting to dye for!

Hand dyed napkins with Apprvl Dye Kit. Pitcher of purified water with Kishu Binchotan Charcoal.

Hand dyed napkins with Apprvl Dye Kit. Pitcher of purified water with Kishu Binchotan Charcoal.

Summer table setting lemons and indigo tie dye napkins