Monday, July 15, 2013

Tie Dye At Home

Who doesn’t love tie dye?  It’s a fun way to create a colorful piece of clothing that is unique every time.  Tie dyeing with kids however can feel complicated and get a little messy.  Here are some ideas and tips to help you make the most of tie dyeing a new piece of clothing.
  1. You’re not the intended item to dye.  That being said, use gloves to prevent having colorful hands for a day or two. 
  2. Try to tie dye outside.  It’s possible to dye inside if it’s raining, but if possible, I’m sure you’d rather have to worry about the grass getting stained instead of something in your home.  
  3. Wear old clothes.  If you haven’t already realized, dye STAINS.  Don’t wear your favorite shirt or brand new jeans when tie dyeing, wear something that can get ruined.  If you have clothes you wear for working in the yard or painting those are a good choice because you won’t care if they end up covered in dye.
  4. If you’re dyeing a new shirt instead of an old white shirt that’s in need of a facelift wash the shirt before you start the dye process.
  5. Be prepared.  Make sure you have all of your supplies ready before you go, especially rubber bands.  You don’t want to find you’re missing something once you’ve started.  You also don’t want to make a mess or mess the process up because you didn’t plan through from start to finish.  If you’re using a kit, follow the instructions, they’re there to help you keep on track with the whole process and different kits may have slightly different instructions depending on the type of dye involved.
Now that we’ve covered some of the basics about precautionary measures let’s move on to the actual dyeing.
  1. Pick a design.  There are tons of different ways that you can arrange a shirt or other item of clothing to be dyed.  For some different design ideas you can try looking here or here for inspiration and maybe try them yourself before giving kids a turn as some require more patience and finesse than others.  Also, pick a method here, are you going to use a spray bottle or a squeeze bottle?
  2. Here’s where we actually start the tie dye process.  Make sure to soak your shirt or other item to be dyed in a lukewarm soda ash bath for about 10 minutes.  When the shirt is done soaking wring out as much of the water mixture as possible.  This step is an important preparation step because it helps the fibers in the shirt hold the dye.
  3. Now place your shirt on a relatively flat surface.  Even if you’re outside, try to get a flat surface for tying your pattern, it’s more likely to come out how you want if you do it on something flat instead of on the grass.  Fold, roll, scrunch and rubber band your shirt into the design that you’ve picked.  Make sure the rubber bands are tight or your pattern won’t come out well as the dye will run.
  4. Now we dye.  If you’re outside but want to avoid getting dye on the grass you can put down a plastic tablecloth where you’ll be dyeing.  Keep in mind when you dye your shirt that it’s easiest to put lighter colors on first, they won’t show up well if you try to put them on over a darker color.  Make sure also to cover any space you don’t want to be white, that means getting into the folds as well as dyeing the surface that you see.  Next is where instructions will vary based on the method you chose.  If you used a spray bottle skip to number 7 otherwise continue to number 5.
  5. Patience.  Once you’ve finished dyeing the shirt how you like with a squeeze bottle, place your shirt in a plastic bag and let sit for at least 8 hours in a warm place.  You can leave it in for up to 36 hours and the longer you leave it the brighter the color
  6. Once the waiting is done you can rinse your shirt out using tap water (I would suggest either in a utility sink you don’t mind getting messy or using a hose over a storage container.  BEWARE, lots of dye will wash out when you do this so you should still wear gloves.  As you’re rinsing the shirt take off the rubber bands.  
  7. If you chose to spray dye your shirt, let it sit rubber banded and dyed for about 5 minutes.  Afterwards, flatten it out and let it dry in the sun.
  8. Before wearing your new shirt, wash it a couple times by itself to make sure the color sets in. 
For more detailed instructions look for the instructions in your tie dye kit or search for them online.
There are a few ways to tie dye.  You can follow the above methods or try a slightly less messy method and use sharpies instead.

The Enterprise covered our Summer Drop-in Day! Check out some pictures here:

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