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jca's avatar

Have you ever done tie dye and if so, do you have any tips or ideas?

Asked by jca (35971points) June 17th, 2014

My daughter was going to do a tie dye event at school and then she missed it because she was out sick.

I am thinking about doing it at home with her or with a few friends, a a little craft for them.

Have you ever done tie dye? Do you have any tips? Do you have any ideas? What worked and what didn’t?

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14 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

I have. It is fun, messy and unpredictable. Jut get rubber bands that don’t break and use only 100% cotton. That is harder to find these days since apprently all cotton grown on the bush is now combined with lyra or spandex. You can find men’s white all-cotton t’s at the old-fashioned Army and Navy stores, since it is too late to order online.

There are tricks online about placing the bunches and using many colors. I wouldn’t bother. Just use trial and error. Best done outside if possible.

gailcalled's avatar

Here are some tricks if you want to get fancy.

jca's avatar

I did it once, but only one color for a Halloween costume (1970’s costume, Hippie). I just did “target-like” circles.

gailcalled's avatar

See my link. There’s more to it than meets the eye, apparently. Get washable dye.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@gailcalled ” It is fun, messy and unpredictable. ” I’ve cut out the messy bit as well as the unpredictable bit. I generally know exactly what the shirt will like look before it’s done.

Soaking your (cotton)shirts in soda ash for 24 hours before tie dying will help the colors stick much better.

I’ve done a few shirts like this it’s pretty simple and I really like the effect. I’m also a big fan of the technique they use in that video which can be extrapolated into all different types of designs. (when breaking bad was on I tie dyed a respirator mask onto a shirt that I dyed a light blue color :P)

I’d also recommend putting your shirts on a rack like in the video above. This will help colors from pooling and bleeding into areas you don’t want them.

Always start with light colors and work toward dark colors.

zenvelo's avatar

Don’t wear white.

When doing targets/circles on pants, especially shorts, make sure it isn’t centered on the crotch. It can look very odd when someone wears one like that.

Seek's avatar

I like swirls.

Lay the t-shirt out flat, pinch the center, and twist your hand around. Keep twisting the fabric spiral until the whole thing is wrapped up, then put a rubber band around the circle. Then secure with more rubber bands.

It comes out looking like a galaxy. Pretty sweet. ^_^ I particularly like doing that with black t-shirts, then spraying it with bleach water.

Unbroken's avatar

It will be messy do as much outside as you can. I didn’t have much luck with getting colors to show up on dark colors. Though pastels are fun. Don’t be limited to circles Batiqueing (sic) is fun though only good for one layer one side.

Just have at it and have fun.

Long rubber gloves, not those silly disposables.

@Seek I did swirls those were fun especially the streaking that can happen.

El_Cadejo's avatar

This question inspired me to go tie dye some stuff :P

I’ll try and remember to take some pictures and post em when they’re done.

I also thought of another useful hint. When you’re done dying the shirt wrap it in newspaper before placing it in a plastic bag. This will stop any colors from pooling in the bag and getting on areas they shouldn’t be.

After 24 hours when you go to wash it, I leave it tied up and wash it in the sink and then throw it in the washer machine still tied up. This will help the colors set in the appropriate places to avoid bleeding.

JLeslie's avatar

You could do it with July 4th in mind! Then sport the red white and blue shirts to the fireworks. Or, maybe you would wind up with some purple? I love Tie Dye, I haven’t done it in years. I don’t remember any tips. Thanks for this Q.

El_Cadejo's avatar

So here are the three I did a couple days ago. I think they came out pretty good. Sorry the lighting is so dim in the one image.

Seek's avatar

I LOVE that brown and green!!

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Seek Thanks :) that one is my favorite as well. The colors came out very nature like.

jca's avatar

Nice work, @El_Cadejo!

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