Every Fourth of July we like to head up to the mountains with our family and hike, fish and make crazy tie dyed shirts. We’ve done them a few time to know now what works and what does not.
After I posted this years batch of tie dyes on my Instastories I received a handful of DMs asking about the process so I decided to come out of my 2 year blogging break to do a very brief tutorial.
Like recipes, ingredients matter. You are only as good as the stuff you use.
Special Note: I will link to the products and I encourage you if you are going to buy them from Amazon that you do so through the smile.amazon.com. Pick your charity from a list and always shop through that link, a percentage of your purchases go directly to the organization. I currently support the wonderful people at Lions, Tigers & Bears in Alpine, Ca., in fact I’m going to visit their sanctuary at the end of the month so you just might see me blog about that too.
OK, here is my shopping list:
- Hanes Pullover ecoSmart 50/50 Fleece Sweatshirts
- Hanes 100% Cotton Nano Tshirts
- Tulip One Step Tie-dye Party Kit (comes with rubber bands, directions, plastic sheet, disposable gloves that don’t stay on)
- Nitrile Gloves (just recycle the ones that come with the kit)
- White Vinegar
Very important, WASH ALL ITEMS to be tie dyed. Washing the items removes sizing, the material that is glazed over fabric to give it structure.
If you want more of a pastel color palette don’t wash just dampen the item with a spray bottle. Also 50
Do not dry the item, it should be damp but not dripping wet.
Put gloves on and add water to the bottles. Make sure you leave space, dont’ over fill or the dye will leak out of the bottles when you mix.
Shake to mix, make sure you look at the bottom, sometimes undiluted dye hangs out and you need to shake the bottle or tap the bottom against a flat surface. Undissolved dye will wreak havoc on your shirt.
Lay your item on a flat surface grab garment from the center and twist clockwise, keep twisting until the entire garment is in a TIGHT circular, disc shape. It should look like a big cinnamon roll. This is probably the most difficult part.
Place 3 rubber bands equal distance apart around the disc shaped shirt. Your cinnamon roll will now look like a personal pan pizza divided into 6 sections.
Carefully apply dye by touching nozzle to fabric. Using a gentle continuous stream of dye soak each section leaving a border of white underneath the rubberband.. The dye will continue to spread into the undyed sections, just wait.
If you want more white then apply less dye, keeping a wider border around each colored section.
Tip: to create a little ombre effect you can apply one shade lighter to the edge of each color, for example I added fuschia where the purple and red meet. Another tip when you think you’ve added enough dye, ADD MORE.
Flip and do the same to the other side of the shirt.
Slide the dye soaked item into a large ziploc bag. We found 5 gallon bags on Amazon that were great for the larger sweatshirts.
Let them sit overnight. Minimum 8 hrs.
Prep area for rinsing. Put on another pair of gloves. I placed a small baking rack at the bottom of my sink. Without removing the rubber bands set shirt on rack and pour cup of white vinegar over the item. Let it chill for 30 minutes, then start running cold water over the shirt. You will want to rinse the shirts long enough that the water is slightly tinged with dye.
Remove rubber bands and continue to rinse. When the water is mostly clear you are ready to launder the shirt.
Wash item in warm or hot water and a little detergent. I promise the dye will stay.
Here’s the shirt after I rinsed for about 15 minutes with cold water.
and here is the same shirt after I washed and dried it on hot.
The difference between 100% and 50/50 blend
The sweatshirts below were not washed, only dampened with water. We later realized these were a 50/50 cotton/polyester blend.
Look for our ETSY shop soon, kidding.
Hope you are having a wonderful summer!