We Have A DIY (Do It Yourself) Tie Dye KIT! Now available!
Witht the same Dye and Supplies we use in our tent!

PDF Tie Dye Directions Basic Rainbow Spiral

Additional Directions for other designs and patterns

I get LOTS of people saying they can't imagine making their own Tie Dye! But really it is not hard, even a 5 year old can do it! with a little help of course. Let me show you how! Most important direction is the first one, and to have fun! all the other steps are flubbable. In other words, if you follow the direction of your dye, you can't mess up a tie dye too bad if you are enjoying yourself! Be A Hippy and it is all Groovy man!

You will need:
Trash bags to protect working surfaces
plastic grocery bags to store your creations in.
Paper Towels to clean up and wrap your work in.
Rubber Bands to tie up your shirt with
Rubber Gloves to protect your hands,
Eye protection, and clothing protection
Plastic Bucket to soak your shirt in.
Chop Sticks to spiral shirts with.
Dye squirt bottles

Dyes, Fixative, detergent, Clean Shirt to make colorful

In the bucket, Soak in the right fixative, for the fiber reactive dye, that is a solution of one cup Soda Ash, or Sodium Carbonate in a gallon of water. Wring out the shirt really really well so that there will be space in the fabric for the dye.

Use only the right fabric for the dye you are using and follow the directions. I use a fiber reactive dye. So It won't react with synthetic fibers Nylon, Polyester, Spandex etc. But will work on any plant fiber based fabric, Cotton, Rayon, Hemp, Linen, bamboo, etc. Cover your work surfaces with plastic! Cover your hands with gloves eyes with glasses and wear an apron, or smock. Mix your dyes and fixative just before your tie dye session. Dyes don't keep well.
Step 1 spread out

Spread out the shirt on a clean surface. If there are stains or spots from other tie dyes, they add character, Groovy!

I will show you the folding for a spiral or starburst. Other patterns require folding in different ways to create different patterns.

Step 2 Spiral!

Select the spot on the shirt that you want the central of your spiral or starburst and push with a stick. I use a chop stick and spin to start the spiral. Turn and watch that the folds that start to wrap around the chop stick don't get to big and fold over other folds. Manually manipulating the folds to keep them all the same size until the entire shirt is wrapped up.

Step 3 Tie!

Using rubber bands, tightly band the spiral crossing the center like you cut a pizza! use 3 rubber bands for 6 sections, or 6 rubber bands for 12 sections for a tighter wrap and crisper white sections.

Step 4 Apply Color!

Using a squirt bottle upside down apply color directly to the shirt. Using squirt bottles saves dye, and allows for more precise dye application than dunking.

We apply the dye to the edge of the fold, and require the capillary action of the fabric and the amount of dye to bring the dye into the center of the folds. Use more dye for more color, Less dye for more white space. If you need to check, use a chop stick and gently separate the folds to see how far your dye has made it into the folds.

Once you finish one side of the design, FLIP the shirt and do the opposite side of the shirt. You can chose to do the same, OR do something different. In this sample, both sides are done exactly the same.

Starting with lighter dyes, overlapping darker dyes. In this example, a rainbow, I started with yellow on Half the design, overlapping blue on half the design overlapping a third of the yellow making green. Finally using Red on half the design overlapping a third of the yellow and a third of the blue making orange and purple giving all 6 colors on the design.

Step 5

This is the hardest part! The Dye needs to set on the fabric for a day! Wrap the shirt in some paper towels so that the colors won't bleed too much and wrap in a plastic bag so it won't dry out. Place your shirt someplace warm for a day! Yep you need to wait for the reaction to happen. Warmer shirts react faster. If you can't get to it right away, that is OK, I have waited for a week, but it is better to do it after a day or two. If you don't wait, the color will just wash out.

WAIT for a day!

Step 6

Rinse and Wash. Wearing gloves, right in sink rinse out the shirt while removing the rubber bands. Rinse out in the sink with comfortable water until the shirt has little dye running out of it. Throw the shirt in the washer all by itself and run the shirt through an entire wash cycle in hot water with half the normal soap. If you use fabric softener, over soften as the dyes are harsh on the fabric. Dry as normal and wear, you shirt is DONE!

Wear and enjoy!

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John and Sarah On The Spot Tie Dye
P.O. Box 1268, 4 Mad River Road, Campton, NH 03223
studio phone 603.726.8879 John Cell: 603.254.7909

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