Christmas Tree Skirt Backing – Mandala

I finally got around to dyeing the backing for my tree skirt yesterday. I decided to try out a Mandala so tied it up and dyed it in two shades of bronze. It’s not bad, not good but not bad for the effort involved in it. I have a series of photos below and will explain as I go.

This is the tied up mandala. Unfortunately I didn’t clue in to the picture taking until after I’d tied it up. Oh well there are seminars online if you want to know the folding technique.

The fabric was wide PFD backing and I tied it into a 16-point mandala so it was pretty thick material at this point. Most tie-dyers use rayon or silk to do their mandalas because material this thick is hard to fold and hard to get the dye to penetrate the thick layers.

Placing the mandala on a large plastic lid to prevent spills from the dye.

Here are some yorker bottles with elastic bands around the tops to prevent leaking, hopeless cause, I really dislike yorker bottles but needed them because they hold a lot of dye.

Starting to apply the dye in two various shades of bronze using alternating bands.

More bands of colour.

Cleaning drips of dye before flipping over the mandala.

The flipped mandala prior to applying matching bands of bronze dye.

Covering the plastic lid with a garbage bag and plastic bag. Normally I batch inside the container but the container to this lid was full of stuff and I couldn’t be bothered to take it out. I batched the mandala for 24 hours.

The sinew is snipped off and I’m starting to open the mandala. When I apply the dye it’s a difficult balance between applying enough dye to penetrate the layers but leaving a little white to contrast with the colour. For this mandala I applied about two cups of dye.

Lots of white starting to show, more than I expected.

Open about half way.

Wet mandala before washout, hmm…pretty dark but it will lighten up. The question is how much will it lighten up?

All right who is that and why is she in my photo?

My photographer was out to lunch as the idea was to catch the centre of the mandala, oh well. As you can see it did lighten quite a bit. It was a rough job at tying up the mandala because it was so thick. I couldn’t be bothered to take the time because it was only backing for the Christmas tree skirt and the reality is that it will be pulled out once a year and nobody will look at the backing anyway. It’s not to bad for a rush job.

The thing that bothered me about this piece of fabric is that I didn’t take into account how wide it was in relation to the mandala that I tied. If I had been thinking I would have squared it off a bit more. As the piece stands now I either whack off a piece of material at either end to fit the tree skirt or I chop the mandala pattern in half to save fabric. I will be chopping off the end pieces and try to use them in another project.

There was a lot of white showing on the ends but I kind of like the blotchiness of it. The pieces I cut off might turn into some neat complex cloth if I ever take the time to work on them.


9 responses to “Christmas Tree Skirt Backing – Mandala

  1. Karen, thanks for sharing that. I love learning new things and that is definitely something I’m going to try and learn. I like the white in it.

  2. Love your mandala. Even with the white in it you did a great job!!!

  3. I like the effect and even the the center isn’t center I don’t think it matters. Would love to see one in the very dark colours. I think it would be stunning.

  4. I think it looks really good – it’s hard to work with something that big and I’m impressed by how little white space there is…

  5. Karen, I think your mandala turned out just fine. Since it’s for a Christmas tree skirt, you can tell everybody you created the white areas on purpose to represent snow. :o)

  6. I think it looks great Karen!!

  7. You’ve done a terrific job of the mandala! I haven’t done any tie-dying since I was at school (a long, looooong time ago) and your efforts are pretty inspirational.

  8. That’s really nice Karen. I’m going to have to learn how to do that one of these days!!

  9. Karen! I thought we had something special! We bonded over cost-co garlic bread!

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