Tie-Dye Cushion Cover

Tie-dye cushion with linen piping | The Nice Nest

Do you find that doing one thing often leads to another?  After making new Oxford cushion covers, I realised that the other cushion covers I had looked scruffy.  They were cream and after a couple of years were past their best, especially when new covers were put alongside them.  With some left over linen fabric, I decided to try tie-dying fabric to get some pattern into the room as most of the other textiles are plain.  I liked the idea of a tie-dye cushion cover or two.

To make a tie-dye cushion cover

My cushion pads are 50cm, so I cut four 65cm square pieces of linen.  I cut them larger than required to allow for the fabric fraying in the washing machine.  I was aiming for a fairly plain stripe design and started by pressing folds into the linen fabric about 5cm in depth.

Ironing linen folds | The Nice Nest

Once I had finished ironing the folds I was left with a piece of fabric that was ready to bind with elastic bands for the dyeing process.

Linen fabric bound with rubber bands, ready to tie-dye

When you dye, there is always an element of the unexpected.  I wanted to make a tie-dye cushion cover that had a similar pattern front and back, and if possible wanted to make a pair of cushions so I worked carefully to ensure I had two sets of fabric prepared in the same way.

I pressed the four pieces of fabric into 5cm concertina folds then folded each strip in half to find the middle and bound with elastic bands.  I folded each end to the middle and bound with elastic bands on each side of the centre, to give three stripes across the fabric.

Dylon machine dye in navy

I used Dylon Machine Dye in navy as I wanted the look of Shibori without the hard work of dying by hand in a dye bath. I started by washing the fabric to remove any dressing.  Then I tipped the contents of the dye pack into the washing machine drum and washed on a 40°C cycle. Once the machine had finished, I took out the fabric, cut off the bands and washed through once again before leaving to dry.

The fabric had frayed quite a bit in the wash and I was glad I cut the pieces generously as I had plenty of room to cut square to the right size for my cushion covers.  Next time, if I had fabric likely to fray as much, I would neaten the edges with my sewing machine before dyeing.

I made up some piping with un-dyed, plain linen and stitched around the cushion covers, inserting a zip to make it easy to remove the cushion covers when they need cleaning.

I am pleased how they sit with the other cushions we have on the sofas.

Tie-dye cushion cover with other cushions on sofa

It just goes to show that with one piece of linen and a little bit of time to dye some of it, you can get two very different looking covers.

How to make a tie-dye cushion cover


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