DIY 2 Methods to Dye your BengKung Belly Bind – Rainbow and Ice Dye
A BengKung belly bind is a wrap used to bind a postpartum woman’s abdomen after birth. This tradition dates back thousands of years and is meaningful in many ways. There are several physical and symbolic benefits to postpartum belly binding. (More information here)
Here I’ll show you 2 methods for dyeing your bind; Ice dyeing, and a rainbow block method. You would typically choose just one of these for your wrap, but I wanted to show you the 2 methods side by side in one wrap. You can purchase an unbleached muslin belly bind on Etsy, or make your own with this video tutorial here.
If you’d prefer a video tutorial, you can find that on my YouTube Channel!
*Most links below are affiliate links :)*
~Unbleached Muslin Belly Bind *The serged thread will NOT hold color. If you want the finished edges a certain color, it must be done with colored thread*
~Gloves & Smock or old shirt
~RAINBOW BLOCK: Dyeing Containers (1 per color)
~ICE DYE: Ice & Container with a drainable bottom. You don’t want your fabric sitting in melted dye.
Soak fabric in HOT water for 10 minutes. Use soda ash if your dye calls for it. (I did not use any with my RIT dye powder).
Prepare workspace. I covered my table in Freezer paper and set up the containers. Heat water to mix with powder dye for Rainbow Block method.
~ Squeeze excess water out of soaked fabric and choose desired dyeing method.
RAINBOW BLOCK: Add HOT water to dye containers. Use enough water to submerse fabric. The more dye powder you use, the richer the color. Less powder = more pastel color.
~ Submerse fabric into each color then move to the next. You could do any combination or order your wanted here! You could measure out each section beforehand so it’s all even, or just guess like I did. These wraps are unique and I like the unpredictability of the results.
~ Make sure dye is evenly coated and under the dye water. If you touch the dyes with your hands while making sure fabric is coated, start with the lightest color and work toward the darkest so you don’t mix the colors by accident with your gloves.
(Tip) If you raise up your dye containers and let the fabric in between sit lower than the containers, the wet fabric should help the dye bleed into the next color!
~ Let sit for 30 mins-4 hours. Read Dye packaging for exact details. I left mine twice as long as it said just because I had other stuff to do and I wanted deep colors 🙂
ICE DYE METHOD: Twist or bunch up fabric and place on a drying rack or container with holes in the bottom for drainage. Add ice to cover the fabric.
~ Sprinkle powder dye over ice. The idea is that as the ice melts it takes the dye and drips it onto the fabric. Try to keep colors separated but cover all the ice. Again, more dye = richer color. Less dye = Pastel color.
~ Place in the sun or warm place for ice to melt. Be mindful of where your melted ice will drip! (Usually takes about 3-4 hours but feel free to leave all day or over night for better saturation!)
BOTH METHODS continue here:
Rinse out fabric in warm until the water runs mostly clear, about 10 minutes.
Wash fabric on cold gentle cycle or by hand. This is a very long piece of fabric so I choose to hand wash in the sink the old fashioned way to avoid the tangled mess. Simply add a little detergent to cold water and agitate by hand.
Rinse and hang dry.
Finished! I love both of these dyeing methods and can’t wait to see yours. Post a comment or photo below!