Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How to Tie Dye a Shirt

This informational post is long overdue.  Today I will lay out, step by step, how to tie dye a t-shirt.  Tie dying a shirt is pretty fun, and it feels great when you unwrap your final product and see the masterpiece you created.  Tie dying is a great activity for children's birthdays, or just a lazy Sunday afternoon.

You will need:
  • white cotton t-shirt
  • rubber gloves
  • bucket of cold water
  • rubber bands
  • plastic wrap (like Saran wrap)
  • tie dye kit
You can order a tie dye kit at Amazon, or find one at your local crafts store.  The kit should come with soda ash, dyes of various colors, and perhaps your rubber gloves and bands as well.  Wear your gloves throughout the whole process to protect your hands from those pesky dyes. 

Start by soaking your shirt in the bucket in a combination of cold water and soda ash.  This will ensure your colors will remain sharp on the shirt after multiple washings.  After you wring your shirt out, proceed with wrapping and rubber banding it.  A video I just watched showed how to make the spiral design: lay your t-shirt flat, plop a fork, tines down, in the middle, and spin until the shirt is wrapped up in a spiral.  Proceed to bundle it up with rubber bands.  Wherever you place the rubber bands will remain white. 

Next, lay your bundled shirt on the plastic wrap, and squirt your dyes all over it.  You can put dyes wherever you like on the shirt.  Try to make cool designs by mixing colors in some places, and leaving them pure in others.  Flip the shirt over and squirt dyes on the other side to complete the job.

Wrap your shirt up in the plastic wrap and leave it in a cool dry place for 10 or so hours.  After time is up, rinse it in running cold water (bathtub works best) until the water running off it is clear.  Wring your shirt out.  Finish the process by throwing it in the washing machine and dryer in a normal wash.  Pull it out, et voila!  You've made a wonderful tie dye shirt.  Enjoy!  Comment with any questions and I will happily respond.