Wednesday, January 19, 2011

∆DIY∆ Faux Ikat Fabric

Things you need for this DIY:
*light colored fabric
*one packet of RIT dye
*latex gloves
*spray bottle
*small craft brush
*tailor's chalk

Total time:
approx. 4 hours

Total cost:
approx.  $25

diy ikat
I love all of the Ikat fabric upholstery I've been seeing around lately and I have had a chair for awhile that needs a face lift. The only problem is Ikat fabric runs for around 50 bucks a yard. So I figured I'd buy some muslin and some dye and try my hand at making my own.

I bought this muslin for $15. I don't know how many yards it is but it's a lot. I got it at the Pratt store down the street but I probably could have saved some money had I gone to a fabric store in Midtown. Hella lazy though...

I cut two chunks of fabric, one large and one small for two parts of my chair. I recommend cutting a small piece for bleach testing.

RIT dye is definitely not the highest quality but it's cheap and it works. Here is my dying photo montage:

After hand washing the fabric this is what I got.

 I Ikatted the small piece of fabric first.

Using a pencil (don't use a pencil) and a ruler I drew 8"X6" boxes.

You can kinda see them in this picture.

I drew out my design on a piece of paper for a reference but I didn't really use it.

Starting with the first box I used my brush to paint bleach onto the fabric, then I spritzed it with water so it would bleed. I decided I wanted a simpler design as you can see on the left.

I found that spraying the whole piece of fabric first, painting on the bleach then spraying it again worked best. You should use your test fabric to try it all different ways.

Don't fret if after 30 seconds or so the bleach hasn't bled much. It takes a few minutes and if you get all crazy with the spray bottle, you will saturate the fabric and the bleach will run a muck. Here is a six minute time lapse...

diy ikat

The result:

diy ikat
Here is the fabric drying on a wardrobe we are giving away. Noodle loves to DIY.

I let the fabric dry completely.

Then I washed it in the washing machine and voila! It looks more Ikatty in person I swear. Give it a try and please share any suggestions on how to improve this technique.

Try dyeing the fabric indigo for faux Japanese Shibori fabric.

Here is a sneak peak of my next DIY.



  1. This is brilliant. I've been thinking of trying DIY ikat myself with fabric pens, but this looks much more "real."

  2. It has this vintagy (<--is that a word) rich look to it, better in my opinion then some of the $50 a yard crap you see. Great DIY. This would be great on a rug!!!!! *Puts thinking cap on*

  3. How clever you are! I'm going to use this idea. Love that you have a bunny!

  4. Wow I love this!! This is far too advance for my meager skillz, but I have been thinking about tie dying a curtain.

    Just found you through lovely Bromeliad. Newest follower! Looking forward to your future projects.


  5. i´m doing this right now! I just dyed my fabric and it´s taking a little bit of sun before I start bleaching.


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