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Lesson: Shibori "Spider" (Kumo) Tie Dye Pattern

This traditional Japanese shibori tie dye pattern looks like a spider when bound, then reveals small web-like bullseyes!

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

*Indicates inclusion in our Tie Dye Kits!

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step one

Start your tie dye by dunking your item in water and ringing out the excess, as your item should be damp.

Lay your item out flat, then fold it in half to start an accordion fold.

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step two

Next fold one side back so that the edge of your fabric lines up with the center fold.

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step three

Flip item over and repeat on the other side.

NOTE: If your item is large, you may rather start your accordion fold by laying out your item flat, accordion fold starting along one edge, then fold back and forth until you achieve a long skinny rectangle.

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step four

Now it's time to add rubber bands. Start in the upper right or left corner of your long skinny rectangle and rubber band the edge into a point. This is easy to do if you grip the fabric in your hand with the top corner sticking up, ready for banding.

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step five

Repeat this process along the perimeter of your skinny rectangle, creating little rubber band points in a zig-zag pattern.

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step six

When you're done rubber banding, your fabric should look something like this!

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step seven

Now it's time to create some spider legs. Add another rubber band or two below each little spike to create a long pointy leg. Grip the fabric in your hand with the point sticking out to make this process easy.

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step eight

Continue until your item looks like this!

NOTE: The more blank fabric left in the center, the larger the space will be between each "web". If you prefer less space between each web, rubber band your points down as close to the middle as you can.

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step nine

Next, scrunch down the center of the rectangle towards the center and add rubber bands to secure it. Make sure that the "spider" stays flat and that the middle does NOT fold up on itself.

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step ten

Add as many rubber bands to the middle as you like to secure it. Now your spider is ready for dyeing!

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step eleven

Fill your 4oz. dye bottle with one Tulip One-Step refill pack and water, then shake to blend. (If using another brand of dye, follow the instructions on your dye package!) Squeeze the dye onto the fabric, coating all exposed white.

Alternatively, you can create a dye bath by mixing the dye and water in a bin or bowl, then submerging your item until it's coated in dye. If using Tulip One-Step, five-ten minutes in the dye bath will do the trick. If using another brand, consult the dye instructions.

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step twelve

Place each spider in a Ziplock bag or wrap in plastic wrap, keeping different colors separate from one another. Let items sit for 8-24 hours or the recommended amount of time, based on your dye instructions.

Once items are done soaking, put on gloves and remove items from plastic. Rinse under warm water before removing rubber bands to remove as much excess dye as possible. Then remove rubber bands from fabric to reveal your gorgeous tie dye design! Continue rinsing fabric under warm water until water runs clear.

Immediately wash & dry items in the machine (keeping colors separate) or hang items dry for delicate fabrics or to keep color super intense. You can find more tips on washing & caring for your tie dye here.

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