Discover how to create a tie dye bikini, the latest summer trend, in this collaboration with Maria Pascual x Camila CTG.
We have discovered the quintessential trend piece that is on every Spanish beach: the tie dye bikini. Garments with this typical hippie print had been relegated to the background until recently. They were a beach cover up to which we did not give much importance in our beach days. However, it’s already been a couple of summers that this print has become the key to make our summer outfits shine, so by now it can’t be missing in our suitcase!
A couple of weeks ago we thought it would be fun to dabble in this trend, but we were a little skeptical, as we didn’t want a bikini that we could easily find in any store. We were looking for a special, unique piece to love every summer.
To do so, we had to DIY it ourselves, of course. Handmade style. Facing this challenge, we contacted our friend Camila from Camila CTG: a swimwear, lingerie and sarongs brand made in Barcelona with their own original and beautiful designs. We met and decided to create a blog post to show you step by step how to make a handmade tie dye bikini using the Shibori technique, with creates beautiful designs.
Why should you take the tie dye challenge?
The day we went to the workshop with Camila we realized how creative and fun it is to make tie dye. It was our first time, but you can’t imagine what a fun afternoon we had! It is a 2 hour process where you experiment with techniques and colors to create amazing and exotic prints. The technique we used is called Shibori, a process of Japanese origin where certain areas of the fabric are blocked to prevent them from being dyed. This blocking can be done in different ways: either by knotting with rubber bands, tying, gathering, folding, etc.
The impressive thing about this technique is the unexpected and effects and results that can be obtained from it. Shibori offers infinite options that make it a unique process and a mystery, since you never know exactly what the final outcome will be.
Photos of Camila CTG’s workshop, courtesy of Jacek Gleba.
Plus, it’s a fun activity to do with friends and involves a creative process that puts your artistic skills to the test. You don’t necessarily have to dye a bikini. In fact, you can customize and give a second life to clothes you no longer wear, or stop by a vintage store and take home a bargain that can become your blank canvas. Any of these options is environmentally sustainable, as you are reusing garments that would otherwise be forgotten.
If you prefer to have the full tie dye experience as we did in Camila CTG’s workshop, you can get her tie dye bikini kit or her sarong kit, which includes a natural ecru viscose bikini or sarong skirt (depending on the kit), dye, strings, gloves and instructions to dye it to your liking.
Now that you are ready to make your tie dye bikini, shall we get started?
1) A bikini or other piece of clothing, preferably white or of a neutral color. Important: It is very crucial that the fabric is of organic origin such as cotton, linen or wool. Synthetic fabrics such as polyester will not absorb the dye and your efforts will have been in vain.
2) Dye with fixative.
3) Elastic bands, popsicle sticks, string or clothespins to create the stamping patterns.
4) A small piece of fabric to use as a test piece before starting on the final piece.
6) Two buckets.
How to create a tie dye bikini step by step
Pick your design
Before you start, make sure you have all the materials ready and cover the surface you are going to use as well as your clothes to avoid stains. There are many types of designs, but we are going to show you the ones that look the most beautiful and spectacular when finished.
Geometric design. To obtain geometric shapes, fold the bikini or the garment as if it were an accordion making regular folds in and out until you have a folded and elongated ribbon. Depending on the result you desire, this ribbon will be folded again into triangles, squares or rectangles.
Photos in Camila CTG’s workshop, courtesy of Jacek Gleba. In the images, we show the process of making the striped design. The model is wearing the Flowers Ring in blue, the Etruscan Ring, the Symi Bracelet and the Butterfly Ring.
Striped design. For the striped design, roll up the bikini or garment by turning one end to one side and the other end to the other. You will see the piece begin to roll up and tighten, and little by little it will wrinkle. When it is tight, tie it securely with rubber bands or string. You can also do this procedure by first making a thin accordion and then twisting the ribbon so that the stripes will be more widely spaced and a pattern of different stripes will be created.
Time to dye
Next, you need to prepare the dye with which you will dye the bikini. At this point, we recommend that you try with a piece of fabric to experiment with colors. Especially if it is your first time doing tie dye and you don’t know the outcome you will get.
Add the dye in 1,5 l of water in a very hot pot (around 80 degrees). Then dissolve the dye with the help of a stick or a spoon.
Photos in Camila CTG’s workshop, courtesy of Jacek Gleba. In the images, we show the process of dyeing process of the pieces. The model is wearing the Symi Bracelet and the Butterfly Ring.
Dip the fabric in the water (be careful, don’t burn yourself!). If you see that the color is too intense and you prefer it lighter, add a little water to reduce it. Otherwise, if you want it strong, let it evaporate to condense the intensity of the mixture.
Photos in Camila CTG’s workshop, courtesy of Jacek Gleba. In the images, we show the process of drying and unmooring of the pieces. The model is wearing the Symi Bracelet, the Butterfly Ring, the Flowers Ring in blue and the Arrow Bangle.
Then, leave it in the bucket for a while to absorb the dye. When you believe it has the color you wish, take out the fabric (still with the knots on) and immerse it completely in cold water. Let it rest for about 20 minutes depending on the intensity of color you want, but always keeping in mind that when the fabric dries it will be a lighter color.
Finally, you must let the dyed garment rest in the air, avoiding the sun. It is very important that you wait for it to dry a little, so let it sit for about 30 minutes before removing the strings or ties that you have used to make the design of your bikini. When the ink is completely dry, rinse your bikini in cold water and untie your knots and rubber bands to see the final result. Surprise!
Tie dye is a fun and mysterious process with which you can’t expect specific results; let’s just say that’s the magic of this technique! We hope this blog post is educative and encourages you to design and make your own tie dye bikini. You will wear it proudly this summer, knowing that it’s sustainable and unique in the world.