In case you missed the first dye tutorial post you can find it here or if you missed my ring sling sewing tutorial that can be found here.
Like the photo says, this is a Low Water Immersion (or LWI) dye technique. This is a great technique if you want the different colors to "dance" together but don't love the look of a traditional tie dye (which I, personally, do not). A little back story...a friend of mine had gotten a Kokadi Diorite Stars woven wrap but never got the hang of wrapping. At first she asked me to help her sell it, instead I encouraged her to have half of it turned into a ring sling and even offered to slingify it myself as partial payment towards buying the other half of the wrap. Best decision ever. She loves the simple black and white star pattern and is getting the hang of the ring sling, but I wanted to spice my half up a bit before slingifying it so obviously I dyed it!
- Textile Detergent
- Dye - I like Dharma Dyes (I used a little turquoise, a little Carribbean blue, jade green (which really has a blue look to it), and Imperial purple)
- Soda Ash Fixer
- Squeeze bottles
- A plastic bucket or bin just big enough for your fabric to be compactly squished into
- Woven wrap or a fabric appropriate for babywearing (I would only recommend Osnaburg or 100% linen)
Always wear gloves and a mask when handling dye or soda ash
As always, wash your fabric with textile detergent before starting a dye project.
Then take your dry fabric and squish it into whatever container you have available that it will fit in compactly. My sling piece fit nicely in the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket. You can twist and turn it as much or as little as you like. The more twisting and turning you do, the more dynamic the colors will be in the end.
Next mix your dyes in the squirt bottles, I actually made my dye highly concentrated because I wanted intense color. This is something you'll have to test out to figure out what you prefer.
Then you want to saturate your fabric with dye, but not add so much that your fabric begins to float at all.
If you want there to be white or blank spots left you don't have to do this...I didn't want any actual white spots left, so I actually filled a squirt bottle with warm water and slowly poured it over all of the fabric while kind of nudging at it to make sure that the dye penetrated all of the folds and overlaps.
Let your fabric sit as is for 30 minutes
Then mix up your soda ash solution and add enough that it completely covers the fabric.
Wait 12 to 24 hours. The longer you wait, the more intense the colors will be.
Rinse and wash your fabric until the water runs clear. I actually just tossed the whole bucket in the washing machine did two cycles without detergent, a cycle with textile detergent, then an additional cycle without detergent and my wrap was good to go.
Common sense made me believe that this technique would be a big hot mess. That letting the colors run together like that would just muddle them all up and it would either look brown or just purple from the mix of dyes I used. But I trusted the many tutorials I referenced and lucky for me, it turned out glorious!
I had originally planned to have the primarily black side be out, but I actually fell in love with the mixing of colors on the white side...
So much cooler looking, right?
Then I slingified it using the same method I linked to at the beginning of this post and it was love at first carry! (Sorry W looks like such a turd, he did not want to model, he wanted to play on the ground)
I love everything about it. For one, Kokadi wraps are heavenly soft. I'm obsessed with how the dye job turned out. And I'm obsessed with how the shoulder of the sling turned out! I chose to use one blue and one turquoise ring and the blending of colors and placement of stars is just flipping awesome.
Now I have to be slightly sentimental for a second. I happen to notice that one of the pictures of use modeling the sling was really similar to a picture taken last August (so they're a year apart almost exactly) - where did my precious bald baby go...?