How to Tie Dye

Tye Dye Step 7

Tie Dying is a very popular art form. Here I show you how to tie die a baby grow, although the technique is so versatile that you can also use it on greetings cards, pictures, clothing and even soft furnishing. The only limit is your imagination!…


You Will Need
How to Make
  1. Start by prepping your work area; a wipe clean surface such as an oilcloth table cloth is perfect for any drips or spillages, alternatively an old table cloth with some newspaper laid on top will work well too. Paper towels are also an essential as they come in handy if you need to wipe your hands on anything and can’t quite make it to the sink!
  2. Before you start dyeing the fabric it needs to be washed without any fabric conditioner to remove anything that might prevent the dye from being absorbed by the garment. You can then either dye the garment straight from the washing machine or leave the garment to dry.
  3. You will first need to mix the dye using the instructions provided in or on the packaging. We used Tulip’s 1-step Vibrant Tie-Dye Kit. We started by putting on our plastic gloves and mixing the dyes with some water and shaking vigorously to mix. If you are using a powdered dye that doesn’t include a bottle in the pack, an old ice cream tub works just as well.
  4. Whatever dye that you use you will need to use it within a certain amount of time (make sure to read the instructions through thoroughly) otherwise the dye will start to lose its concentration and will not produce such a vivid and vibrant colour.
  5. To create the areas of white on your garment you will need to use elastic bands, these will need to be wound around your garment tightly, thus ensuring that the dye does not spread to these areas of fabric. There are three different methods of folding the fabric or garment –Scrunch – this is just as it sounds, simply scrunch your fabric/garment up into a ball and then haphazardly wrap the elastic bands around and then apply the dye. Fold – fold the garment or fabric into squares, triangles or whatever shape takes you fancy and then wrap the elastic bands as you like. Pinch – pinch an area of your fabric or garment and gather around the pinch, secure the elastic bands around the pinched fabric.
  6. Once you have dyed all of the fabric/garments that you want to, wrap each one individually in cling film and leave for around 6 hours (this time may vary dependent on the brand of dye that you use, make sure to read the pack instructions).
  7. Once your fabric has been left for the desired amount of time remove the elastic bands, and rinse in water to remove any excess fabric dye until the water runs clear.
  8. Place your fabric/garments into the washing machine, and wash as per the pack instructions. Washing the fabric in a washing machine will help to ‘set’ the dye.
  9. When washing these items in the future it’s best to wash them separately or at least for the first two or three washes.

Hints and Tips

  • Any excess dye that is left afterwards can be disposed of down the sink.
  • Make sure that if you are dyeing more than one item that they do not touch, this will help to avoid any unwanted colour blending.

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