Tie-Dye

Tie-Dye by Shabd Simon-Alexander gives us readers a fresh look into tie-dye projects and clothing. The easy to read how-to book gives creative ideas and tips for all the tie-dye fashionistas.

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The book is laid out in such a way that it entices and encourages the reader to become involved with the projects. The presentation is very clean and the set out is easy to understand which is a must in how-to books.

Whilst having funky and fun designs to follow, it also has a more technical side to it. This includes expert colour guidance and even different fabric types to help give you a sneaky peek at what is achievable.

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The book contains so many bold and innovative ideas using home found objects as props for creating patterns. This just shows how tie-dye is achievable by anyone who wishes it upon themselves and doesn’t have to use costly objects.

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One of my favourite things about the book has to be the hints and tips…or the ‘alternative’ boxes placed on the majority of pages. These cheeky ideas have given me inspiration to use other objects and techniques for future tie-dyeing projects.

Reading this book has definitely given me lots of inspiration and ideas. As a tie-dye lover it has helped me to understand more about the tie-dyeing world and has given me a new enthusiasm and some new techniques to work on.

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INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, SHABD SIMON-ALEXANDER

Does experimentation play a part in your different techniques?

Most definitely! Experimentation is my favorite part, and sometimes I’ll make up to 200 tests to find 5 colors or patterns for a collection. Often the ones I love the most were the result of happy accidents.

Did you struggle to engage with the fabric to create such intricate patterns?

Sometimes it’s really easy and just happens quite naturally, while other times it takes me a lot of tries to get the results I’m going for. I tend to try to work with patterns that I enjoy making, not only enjoy looking at, so that the entire process is enjoyable. It’s visible in the end if I’m happy while I’m making it.

I’ve never considered using a bottle to apply the dye to my fabrics, do you prefer this method to the bucket dyeing?

The two methods give you very different results. Bucket dyeing is better for monochromatic pieces, this method has been used for thousands of years. Bottle dyeing is good if you want a lot of colors in one piece, you have more control over where you place the colors and how they overlap with other colors in the fabric.

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What is the most extreme object that you’ve used to create a pattern and what effect did that give?

It’s fun to tie different things inside the fabric to create polka dots, I’ve used stones, marbles, and all sorts of pantry items like chick peas, mung beans and rice. You can clamp different objects on the outside of folded fabric to create repeated patterns; in classes students bring in all sorts of items to use for this, like jar lids, washers, hinges, forks, and all different shapes cut out of wood or plastic.

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Do you enjoy acid washing? Or is tie-dye your passion?

I’ve never done acid washing, I like adding color more than taking it away. I also like using dyes that aren’t too harsh to work with and acid sounds scary!

What is the best method for dip-dyed clothing to ensure an even finish around the item?

Dip dyeing is surprisingly one of the most difficult methods. In order to get really even coverage you need to make sure you never stop moving the fabric or you’ll get a sharp line. The better route is to expect some inconsistencies or imperfections and be happy with the results.

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Written by Sarah

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