Sewing Techniques

Space Dyeing

Dye fabrics using Space Dyeing techniques with beautiful rainbow backgrounds for using in Shibori and other sewing projects.

Choose colours which are close to each other in the spectrum for harmonious sequences.


  • Several Dye Baths
  • Dyes

HANDY HINT: It’s a good idea to check your colours and tones before you start, by dipping little strips of the chosen fabric into the dye baths.

Steps to create

1. Mix three strong dye baths. test each colour first on a spare piece of cloth. gather up the silk in both hands and divide into the three baths as shown.

2. Hold two-thirds of the silk in one hand, leaving one-third hanging loosely.

3. Dip one-third of the silk into the first dye bath (shown here as turquoise) and stir.

4. Lift the silk out carefully and rinse the coloured part, still holding the rest in the other hand to keep it undyed.

5. Hold the turquoise section and the other end and dip the middle section into the second dye bath (shown here as blue). overlap with the turquoise slightly so that the colours blend.

6. Rinse the middle section only, holding the other two sections tightly in your hands. Dye the third section in the third dye bath (shown here as Violet), overlapping with the blue section to blend.

Space-dyed silk Georgette lengths, showing harmonious colour sequences:

Further information

The information for this article is from Shibori Designs and Techniques by Mandy Southan (ISBN 9781844482696) showing how to create unique and beautiful fabrics using the ancient Japanese resist dyeing method of shibori. Author Mandy Southan shows a variety of ways in which stitching, gathering, pleating and folding fabric prior to dyeing it can be used to create a wide variety of colours, patterns and textures. Priced at £9.99 and published by Search Press (

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