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Introduction: How to Tie Dye an Old White Shirt

By stinkymumBy stinkymum
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About: Born in England many years ago, moved to California in 1980, moved to New York in 1993, became a US citizen. Favourite place to visit, besides London England, is Lake Winnipesaukkee in New Hampshire, home o... Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for More About stinkymum »

Tie dye shirts are almost as American as apple pie. It’s impossible to be sad while wearing tie dye colors — especially if you accessorize with your favorite rainbow loom bracelet!

While some instructions suggest using string I find that rubber bands work the best. Either way, the most important thing is that you have fun preparing an old tee for its transformation into a rainbow masterpiece.

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Step 1: The Shirt, Fit to Be Dyed!

Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for The shirts that work best are 100% cotton, but you can also use 50% cotton/50% polyester. The results will not be as vibrant. I once tried to dye a 100% polyester garment and when it was unwrapped - all the dye washed off! The dyes only bond well with natural fabrics, like cotton, silk and rayon - but we''t have any.

Although I have used kits, I prefer to use the Procion dyes as supplied by Dharma Dye. They have a great website where you can buy all you need. http://www.dharmatrading.com/dyes/ Procion dyes are the best and brightest dyes, I thoroughly recommend them. If you mix the dye powder yourself however, always wear a mask so that you don''t forget to have paper towels and paper plates to hold your shirt while it''s bath! As the soda ash is slightly caustic you may want to wear rubber gloves at this point, especially if you have a cut on your finger - it will sting! After soaking, wring the shirt out thoroughly. The more liquid that you can squeeze out, the more dye will be able to get in! I usually spin my shirts on the spin cycle of the washing machine. (Note- if you use a brand new shirt, wash it first to remove the newness, which I think they call "". This "" will prevent dye from bonding properly, and you may get a streaky effect.)

Step 5: Tying a Rainbow Swirl Pattern!

After you have soaked and wrung out the shirt (by the way, if you don''t wear rubber gloves you will achieve red, yellow or blue dyed hands, which won''s old white socks and cut them down to fit over the bottles, which helps stem accidental leaks!
Hint: there is a product called Reduran, which can be purchased online from Dharma, which removes dye from the skin instantly, so you don''s less messy, and easy to flip the whole thing over when dying the other side. Wear rubber gloves!

Just a note: When I tie dye I usually only use three colours, Fuchsia red, turquoise and lemon yellow. With these three colours you can make any colour you like. To make the rainbow swirl shirt, imagine that your "" is an actual pie chart! Working from the centre of the shirt and holding the bottle low over the shirt, dye one third of the shirt lemon yellow. Do not wave the bottle around as you will make a mess! Dye the second third of the shirt fuchsia red and the final third turquoise. Do not leave any white spaces showing - the "" is hiding within the folds! If you overlap the colours at the edges of each section you will get the other rainbow colours, i.e. green, purple and orange! It''t get it back.

Step 10: Turn the Pie Over!

When you have finished putting the dye on the first side, turn the whole thing over. This will be easy to do if you just flip the plate over onto another paper plate with clean paper towel all ready for you. Throw the first paper plate and towel away (clean up as you go along whenever possible). Apply the dye on this second side in a similar manner. If you are making the rainbow swirl, you need to be sure to put the three colours behind the same colours you used on the other side (i.e. red behind red, blue behind blue, etc.) If you don''t know why). When you unwrap your shirt wear rubber gloves and old clothes again. Don''s time to unwrap and discover your beautiful (we hope) creation for all to see. Take the shirt out of the bag! You can either take the bands off first, unwrap and start running the shirt under a cold water tap, or just run under the tap for a while and then take the bands off! BEWARE, if you have never tie dyed before you will be astonished at the amount of dye that pours out as you are rinsing. The water might turn black! Fear not, this is normal. All the dye you so lovingly applied will never bond with the fabric. Enough dye will remain, well and truly bonded. Keep rinsing until the water runs clear (it may take a while!) Hopefully, if you have done it right your pattern will be revealed in all its glory. It''s my shirt. I hope yours is as good or even better! No more "" Enjoy!

Step 14: No White Cotton Garment Will Ever Be Safe Again!

Once you have the tie dye bug life will never be the same. Your family members may become paranoid and start hiding their cotton underwear. They may become very afraid if you to take any white cotton bed sheets and bath towels to be transformed! They don''re not cheap but the colors are beautiful!!!

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huzefa.sakkasstore

Tip 4 months ago on Step 2

Two helpful tips are to wear gloves and to make sure that you secure all folds.

0
ilovetocreate

Reply 4 months ago

Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for The best Tie-Dye kit already come with gloves
https://www.tiedyeyoursummer.com/tulip-tie-dye-party-kit

0
32013708

Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Question 6 for 1 last update 2020/06/04 months ago Question 6 months ago

how do you do that

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rmcats10

7 months ago

This was super great and made lots of sense! Thank you!

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talonts

2 years ago

I''ve done swirls on just about anything I can get my hands on. It''t start the swirl in the center or else it will be the 1 last update 2020/06/04 all swirly in the crotch area!I''ve done swirls on just about anything I can get my hands on. It''t start the swirl in the center or else it will be all swirly in the crotch area!

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ShawnS60

Reply 2 years ago

There are many YouTube videos that cover all your questions (how to tie dye a hoodie, shorts, etc). I found this Instructible fantastic & simple! I will try this way soon. As this author noted, many of the YouTube videos do use string for 1 last update 2020/06/04 instead of rubber bands. It doesn’t seem to matter. What’s really cool are the “fishscale” and other different designs!There are many YouTube videos that cover all your questions (how to tie dye a hoodie, shorts, etc). I found this Instructible fantastic & simple! I will try this way soon. As this author noted, many of the YouTube videos do use string instead of rubber bands. It doesn’t seem to matter. What’s really cool are the “fishscale” and other different designs!

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Catsonthebed

2 years ago

I have been tie dyeing for years and years and years. This is the first tutorial that shows how to do the "" with great clarity and ease. Thanks so much. I''ll appreciate so much

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Andrew Muli

Question 11 months ago on Step 8

Where can I get the exact dye you are usind here? Kindly help

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s8778694

12 months ago

That is so cool to make a tie-dye shirt.

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ddanner123

1 year ago on Step 14

so i didnt add anything to the water when i got it wt before dying it and it still worked

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dhernandez40

1 year ago on Step 14

that cool