To Dye For! Tie Dyeing Tips and Folds
Tie dying is not a hard activity to do. It is a lot of fun and you get some cool shirts to wear. You can do this with lots of kids (all ages) and adults. It is pretty economical. Tye Dyeing is pretty instantaneous process. It teaches patterns,colors,color mixing,fine and gross motor skills.
I think the hardest part for any newbie to tie dying is the folds to get the cool designs. They are not real hard but It is nice for someone to show you.
Another question is dyes. Which kind to use? Do I use a tie dye kit? Do I use professional dyes? Do I use Rit dyes?
So here is a little demo and tutorial for tie dyeing.
First let us talk about supplies and dyes.
You can use a kit that has rubber bands and dyes in the bottles. The bottles are nice because they offer control of the dye application. The dyes are really bright and vibrant.There are no buckets of dye to deal with. Now the cons. Who are they kidding when the box says for up to 8 shirts?! Maybe if you are doing doll clothes. You have to saturate the shirt with the dye to get a good pattern of color,otherwise you will a lot of white area.
Next you can buy professional dyes. These color are vibrant and rich. You can dye a lot of shirts. But they can be costly.You can also buy "natural" dyes made from organic material. I have not used any of these dyes but I imagine the color maybe a littled muted.
Then there is the stand by Rit dye. It is cheap,even if you buy the pre made kind. If you are wanting to have a tie dye party, that is inexpensive,Rit is the way to go and have everyone bring their own shirts.
Another element you will need is rubber bands. You will want the big all purpose bands. Some people like string. String gives a tighter tie, which can give more white but the risk of cutting the shirt is high. Ask me how I know.
Other supplies that are handy to have are:
- Smocks,aprons or old clothes
- Glade wrap ( it can be used to wrap the shirts in for up to eight hours to help deepen the dye color)
- Small tubs (if you are dying in large quantities)
- Small bottles with tips like color applicator bottles (these are for more precise control)
- Spray bottles: these are fun way to do the dye application
- Something to dye: Shirts are the most common but anything that can be dyes. For best results the fabric should be cotton.
Here is a fold that gives you some vertical lines that goes up. If you tie the arms inward,you often get a funky "V" shape.
- Lay your t shirt out.
- Fold your shirt like a fan. (it does not matter if you stop at top or bottom) Now a key here for any of the folds is the tighter the fold,the more white you will have.
- Fold arm sleeves inward or not.
- Tie shirt with rubber bands.
- Dunk,pour or spray dye on shirt so that is saturated. You want to make sure the dye is really in those fibers.If you are dunking the shirts,try to leave the shirt in the dye for at least 2 minutes or more to get a richer color.
- You have a couple of options at this point; one is wrapping the shirt in plastic wrap for eight hours. This option gives the dye more time to set and keeps some of the mess at bay. It is also a good option when you have poured or sprayed the dye on. The secound option is to remove the ties and hang the shirt to dry.
- You can set the dye right after you dye the shirt or after it dries. You put the shirt in cold water (Now you can add a cup of salt for every gallon of cold water. This method is often suggested for professional dyes.),then you soak at least for 30 minutes. Some of the dye will release back into the water but it really doesn't effect the shirt design too much.
On the right is a visual example of the fan fold with the finished shirt.
Next fold is called a bulls eye fold because the dye graduates down into a single "circle" of color.
- Take the shirt, start in the middle and pull the shirt into like a cone (see pictures on right)
- Then add rubber bands down to the end of the shirt. you can use as many or as little as you want. The distance between the bands is up to you as well.
- Add dye in the method you choose.Note this a great way to teach about color patterns.
The finished example is to the middle right.
Another cousin of this fold is call a sun burst fold. It is basically the same fold but done smaller. You place this fold in several different spots on the shirt.
On the bottom right is an example of this fold as well as two samples of finished shirts.
Here is the most popular fold, Spiral.
This one looks tricky but it is not that bad.
- Lay out your shirt.
- Start in the middle of the shirt and twist the fabric around the center.
- You will have something that looks a cinnamon bun.
- Put rubber bands to hold the shape.
- Add fabric dye.
You by no means have to start at the middle or limit yourself to one spiral. You can do several smaller spirals. There is an example to the right of this,as well as some finished examples.
This fold or method I like to call the scrunch.it is interesting fold because it is completely random and very simple to do.
- You take the shirt and scrunch into a ball.
- Next you add rubber bands to hold shape of the shirt.
- Then you add dye.
Ta Da! Finished!
I hope this inspires you to have a groovy tie dye party! This is a simple,inexpensive, fun warm weather activity for all ages!
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