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Shibori Picnic Blanket

Rit Dye

By Rit Dye Team

October 12, 2017

Project Description

Bring a little style to your next picnic with this bright and fun shibori dyed picnic blanket. You can create the perfect setting for your next al fresco dining experience.


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Prep, dyeing & Rinse time: About 2 hours

Rit Products Used


You'll Also Need

  •   (2) 2x4 wood blocks cut to approximately 2 feet

  •    white cotton blanket or fabric

  •   4 gallon pot

  •   dishwashing liquid

  •   liquid detergent

  •   measuring cup

  •   large metal spoon

  •   paper towels

  •   plastic table cover

  •   rubber bands

  •   rubber gloves

  •   salt

Step By Step

  1. Gather supplies. Cover table with plastic.

  2. Pre-wash beach fabric with detergent, rinse and leave wet.

  3. To create a traditional itajime pattern, accordion fold or “fan fold” the fabric in approximately 1 foot wide folds down the length of the towel. This will form a long, rectangle. For more pattern variations, vary the size and width of the folds.

  4. Make a triangle fold onto each new section the length of the rectangle of fabric.

  5. Sandwich the fabric triangle between the blocks of wood.

  6. Secure “sandwich” with rubber bands to tightly hold the fabric together at 1” intervals along the 2 x 4.

  7. Set aside “sandwich” to prepare the dyebath.

  8. Prepare dyebath: Fill large dye container with 3 gallons very hot water tap water (140F). If water is not hot enough, heat some water in a cook pot or teapot. Shake dye bottles before pouring. Wearing rubber gloves, add ½ bottle Navy all-purpose Rit dye to hot water. Stir well.

  9. For cotton fabrics, add 1 cup of salt to dyebath. This helps to intensify the color. Then add a squirt of liquid dish detergent. Stir well.

  10. Test dye color by dipping a paper towel into the dyebath. If color is too light, add more dye; if color is too dark, add more water.

  11. Immerse cotton fabric “sandwich” bundle into the dyebath. For a high contrast pattern, keep the bundle in the dye for about 3 to 5 minutes to keep the bound-up part dye-free. For more color and less white areas, let the square set in the dyebath for 10 to 20 minutes.

  12. When desired color is achieved, remove the fabric bundle from the dyebath. Squeeze out excess dye. Do not remove wood blocks.

  13. Recommended: To enhance the color and reduce color bleeding, use Rit ColorStay Dye Fixative immediately after dyeing and before washing, following package instructions. Let “sandwich” set in fixative for 20 minutes.

  14. Carefully remove wood blocks and rubber bands; unfold the fabric.

  15. Rinse fabric in cool water until rinse water begins to run clear.

  16. Wash the fabric in warm water with mild detergent by hand or in your washing machine with an old towel, rinse and dry

  17. OPTIONAL: To protect underside of blanket cut piece of durable plastic or vinyl to size of blanket. Machine stitch or hand sew to edge of blanket.

  18. Hit the park or beach and enjoy!




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