Lesson: How to Tie Dye Shibori Square & Triangle (Itajime) Patterns

Achieve shibori-inspired tie dye in just a few simple steps!

  • Rubber gloves*
  • Apron or smock*
  • Ziplock bags or plastic wrap (plus a Sharpie if you’re doing this with friends!)

*Included in our Tie Dye Kits!


Triangle pattern tutorial at minute 22:16

How to Tie Dye Square & Triangle Pattern

step one

Head here to learn how to prep your item for dyeing. Once your item is damp and ready, lay it flat. The first step is to fold your fabric into a long strip, hot dog style by folding it in half, then in half again. If you need to fold more than twice, be sure to do so accordion-style, do not roll it up like sushi. If dyeing a t-shirt, be sure to fold in the sleeves.

How to Tie Dye Square & Triangle Pattern

step two

Next, accordion-fold your fabric in either a triangle or square shape, going back and forth from the front of the item to the back to create a true accordion fold.

How to Tie Dye Square & Triangle Pattern

step three

Cut two pieces of cardboard slightly smaller than the shape of your fold. Sandwich folded fabric between the cardboard and wrap rubber bands around to secure. The cardboard prevents dye from filling in the complete surface of the outside, creating the same shape of negative space that will be revealed between the rest of the folds.

How to Tie Dye Square & Triangle Pattern

step four

If you want a true shibori look, you can dye your item using one color, such as blue. However you can totally add different colors to the fabric to create a funky multi-colored mix. Be sure to dye all exposed white fabric. The more white you want to appear, the tighter your rubber bands should be to prevent the dye from dripping inside the folds, so adjust accordingly. Alternatively, if you prefer more color, squirt color slightly into the creases between folds.

How to Tie Dye Square & Triangle Pattern

step five

Example of triangle pattern!

How to Triangle & Square Tie Dye

step six

Example of square pattern!

Head here for instructions on how to set dye, then rinse, wash & care for your new triangle and square tie dye creations!


Apply your new-found skill to create awesome things! Here’s a round-up of project inspiration.


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