Tie dye time

Tuesday 23rd July, 2013

After searching through Brighton for a cheap, but cool tie dye tshirt, I decided to make my own! While it did actually work out the same, if not dearer than the ones I saw for sale, it was fun to do! Also, on the up side, I have enough dye to make about 20 t-shirts, so it’s not all bad!

Here’s my hints, tips, and stages. Good luck!

What you’ll need:

  • Plain white t-shirt that is 100% cotton (the dye sticks best to cotton) – £1.50 Primark 
  • Rubber Bands
  • Dyes in your choice of colours (I went for the prime art colours; yellow, red and blue) – £5.25 Fabric Land, 200g
  • Gloves
  • Carrier bag big enough to fit the tshirt in unfolded
  • Black bag
  • Squeezy bottles – £1.50 Primark
  • Bucket
  • Dye salt – £0.50 Fabric Land, 500g

Before you start, you need to make sure that you have covered the surface that you are working on. The dye runs everywhere so make sure you work on the black bag, and are wearing old clothing.

The equipment needed to dye the tshirts.
The equipment needed to dye the tshirts.

Before starting, you need to mix up the dye powder with water. If the packet does not have its own instructions, for every 20g of dye, mix with 200ml of warm water. Be sure not to get this on your skin as it does stain, so it is best to wear the gloves from the start.

Once you have made up the dye, fill a bucket of water up with about 6 litres of warm water. Mix 250g of salt into the water and let is disolve in. Once the salt has disolved, place the tshirt in the water. Leave it in here for around 10 minutes, just so that it absorbs a lot of the salt.

After 10 minutes, take the tshirt out of the water and rinse until it is just damp.

We did the knotted technique, while there are a lot of others to choose from, the following instructions just apply for this pattern.

With the damp tshirt laid out flat on the black bag, take small sections of the material and twist it, holding it in place with an elastic band. You then have to repeat this across the tshirt until you are happy with the pattern. It’s a good idea to make them different sizes so that the pattern varies once complete.

Twist sections of the tshirt and hold them in place with rubber bands.
Twist sections of the tshirt and hold them in place with rubber bands.

The next stage is dyeing the tshirt. Once the dye has been made up, pour it into seperate squeezy bottles – one for each colour.

Then take, a dye and squeeze it over the elastic band. It looks good if you vary the colours on the twists.

Once each of the twists have been covered, fill the gaps on the tshirt with the remaining dye.

Once the twists have been covered fill the gaps with the remaining dye.
Once the twists have been covered fill the gaps with the remaining dye.
Make sure you have a clear work station covered with a bin bag to ensure nothing is stained.
Make sure you have a clear work station covered with a bin bag to ensure nothing is stained.

When you are happy with the outcome of the dye, and are sure that both sides of the tshirt are covered, carefully place the tshirt in a plastic, sealable bag over night.

Once you have dyed the shirt, place it in a sealable bag.
Once you have dyed the shirt, place it in a sealable bag.
Our work of art that was revealed from all the left over ink.
Our work of art that was revealed from all the left over ink.

After 24hours, take the tshirt out of the bag. Rinse it in running warm water until it runs clear. Once clear, rinse it with cold water. It is then best to wash the tshirt in a washing machine on its own, on a cold wash to ensure all the colour is removed. Once washed, leave the tshirt to dry on a washing line.

Our finished tshirts
Our finished tshirts

Once the tshirt has been worn, it is best to once again wash it by itself in the washing machine to ensure other clothing is not dyed.

 

 

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