shibori birthday party

Look, it's a non-weekend reading post! I really am going to make a concerted effort into posting here more often and to get back to the craft- and creativity-themed posts. Let's start with a group craft, shall we?!

My birthday was about a week and a half ago and it fell during the time that I normally would have a craft night. So I figured- why not combine my monthly craft night with my birthday party?! A few months ago one of my friends had a 'make and take' birthday party in which she and her friends all worked on an embroidery project- she supplied the supplies, they brought themselves and stitched away. How cute is that?! 

Since I was inviting a few people who don't do a ton of crafting I wanted to make sure whatever craft I chose was accessible. You all know I've been obsessed with the thought of shibori dyeing lately, so I figured it was as good as any other bday party idea! As I posted about here, I ordered supplies and last weekend me and my friends got to folding, dipping, dyeing, and all sorts of fun!

Here's how it all turned out. 

Mixing up the dye vats! I did two 2 gallon vats instead of one 4 gallon vat so that people wouldn't be waiting forever to dye their bandanas. 

Mixing up the dye vats! I did two 2 gallon vats instead of one 4 gallon vat so that people wouldn't be waiting forever to dye their bandanas. 

My first piece, folded and clamped real tight. 

My first piece, folded and clamped real tight. 

Fresh outta the vat!

Fresh outta the vat!

We each had 4 bandanas to try so we all tried our hands at various resist techniques. 

We each had 4 bandanas to try so we all tried our hands at various resist techniques. 

It was so fun to watch everything oxidize! The dye starts of bright green and as it's exposed to oxygen, turns dark blue. #sciencerules

It was so fun to watch everything oxidize! The dye starts of bright green and as it's exposed to oxygen, turns dark blue. #sciencerules

The morning after the party there were some leftover bandanas, so I dyed those too :) 

The morning after the party there were some leftover bandanas, so I dyed those too :) 

The party was so fun and everyone's bandanas looked awesome! This was my first time to shibori dye and there are a few things I wish I had known ahead of time like...
1. All the tutorials online that say to keep your fabric submerged for 20+ minutes are ENTIRELY ACCURATE. The dye dries to a much lighter color than the color that it comes out of the vat as. My friends and I were all dipping for just a few minutes because the color was deceptively dark. After we rinsed and dried everything it was a lot lighter. The 2 that I dyed the next morning were submerged for 20 minutes and they stayed much darker after drying! 
2. Baby wipes are surprisingly effective at getting indigo dye off your skin!!
3. Clamp your pieces tight but not too tight. In that last photo, I had clamped my fabric very tightly and was hoping to get some really well-defined squares, but I had clamped it too tightly and ended up with a lot of white space. I still like how it turned out but I wanted some really crisp, dark indigo lines. C'est la vie! 
4. Rinse your pieces like there is no tomorrow. Get that water to turn clear, bb. I might've dyed the inside of my dryer slightly blue because I didn't rinse thoroughly #oops
5. You're gonna wanna dye EVERYTHING so be prepared for that. It's a lot of fun! 

Go forth and dye!