Tie Dye Tea Towels 


I’ve always been a hippie. That probably comes as no surprise to you readers, but there’s no getting away from it.

I love gypsy skirts, crochet vests, beads, brass bangles, Indian textiles and tie dye. Lots of tie dye in all its myriad forms. It’s been in and out of fashion since I was born in the 70s, but I have been steadfast and true to my passion for it. I love the daggy rainbow tie dye of the 70s, I love the more sophisticated Japanese Shibori styles that are currently fashionable. Can tie dye be sophisticated? I think it can, and that’s what I attempted to do here.

Sophisticated tie dye. Wish me luck….


I found three plain white tea towels in the op shop (score!!!) that I knew would be perfect for dyeing. $1 each, so no biggie if it all went disastrously wrong, and trust me when I say that is always a possibility when dyeing things! I’ve been doing this for 30 years and still have disasters!

So I decided I wanted an inky brown-black colour. I dug out what packets of dye I had and chose black with a dash of brown to warm it up. (In hindsight more brown was needed to approach the colour I had in mind, but you live and learn.)

I played with different shapes for the tie dye.

A traditional spiral/circles type first.


Then what I refer to as “spanakopita ” tie dye because you fold the fabric as though making cheese and spinach triangles (yum… now I’m hungry)….this produces pretty patterns that remind me of a big Snowflake.


Then I tried a “parcel tied up with strings” style which in theory produces more of a soft grid pattern.


Then into the machine with the dye and salt….


I have a habit of trying to see what’s going on during this process and I never can. You’d think I know that by now, and yet….


When the machine stops is when I get nervous.


Little black lumps. Time to pull off the zip ties and reveal success or failure!


Excuse my laundry in the background, it was sunny and windy so I took advantage by doing a heap of washing!!!

No failures as such, although my Spanikopita (right) is much more subtle than I’ve ever come across.

The traditional circles (centre) have turned out more diamonds….I think I like that!

And the parcel shape (on the left) which lost two of the zip ties during washing is nothing like I expected. It reminds me of storm clouds somehow!

After drying and an iron (shudder, my most hated household task!), I’m not unhappy with the result.


Do they look sophisticated? Or am I just a dreamy bohemian that will never change?  Either way I’m a happy little hippie!!

#sorrynotsorry #bohemianforever 

About Aixie

Artist Crafter Interiors Addict Crazy Cat Lady
This entry was posted in Craft Projects, Decorating, Home DIY and Decor, Upcycled Projects and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Tie Dye Tea Towels 

  1. Mixy says:

    zip ties are inspired – i never thought of using them w tie dyes! I love the ‘moment of discovery’ with dying – first sight on opening the washing machine door – whatever the results!

    • Aixie says:

      Zip ties are SO much easier than rubber bands!!!
      That moment of anticipation just as you open the washing machine door, and then TADAA… yep, I love it too!

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