How To Make Tie Dye Shirts, And Other Things Too

Hey everyone! Today is all about tie dye. Tie dye has been a summer tradition for as long as I can remember. We used to have tie dye day at camp, I had a t shirt tie dye birthday party once, it’s just a lot of fun to make and wear for kids, as well as adults.

What Is Tie Dye?

Tie dye is a process of tying a piece of fabric and dying it, typically with bright colors. Hence the name tie dye. The tie dye we all know today is the modern use of the traditional dying methods used in many cultures over the course of many centuries. The t shirt tie-dye that we know today came about in the late 1960s.

What Can I Tie Dye?

I think an easier question is what can’t I tie dye. If it’s a fabric or cloth you can most likely tie dye it. The most popular tie dye item would be tie dye t shirts. Other common items are pants, socks, towels, sheets, scarves, dresses, and much more! I personally am fond of the tie dye sheets I made for my college dormitory my junior year. Everyone was jealous of my awesome tie dye sheets. If you have a flat laying top sheet you could even hang it on the wall as a really cool tie dye mural or decoration.

Tie Dye Group

Tie Dye Techniques

There are many tie dye techniques and kits available for tie dying today. Whichever kit or instructions you’re following, make sure you follow them exactly. Trying to re-create the results of one method with the supplies or techniques of another could ruin the whole process and the t shirt tie dye may not work.

Generally, the first thing you have to do is, using ties or rubber bands, fold the garment. There are many different techniques for folding fabric. There are knots, spirals, rolling, bunching and many many more. Depending on the method you’re following, after folding you may need to have the garment soak in water or some sort of solution. There are kits though that are able to dye a dry garment.

Now you color! The more traditional methods use dye baths to color the apparel. You immerse the clothing item in the lightest color, rinse and then repeat with a darker color, rinse and repeat with an even darker color, etc…. More modern methods and kits will have you put the dye in a small squirt bottle and have you squirt the color dyes onto, and into, the fabric. After dying some techniques will have you rinse the garment to get rid of excess dye, though others will not require this.

Tie Dying

To get the dye to stay permanent and vibrant, you must wash it correctly. Follow the instructions that go with the tie dye technique you’ve chosen. Do NOT wash with any other garments, excess dye will be coming off the shirt and will dye any other garments in the wash with the tie dyed items.

I hope that this post helps you with your tie dying needs! Tie dye can be a great activity for families or groups, and both kids and adults will enjoy creating an original tie dye t shirt to wear and show off. I’d love to hear about any of your tie dye adventures, or maybe a new technique that I haven’t heard of.

For some more information on tie dye and tie dye techniques check out these pages:

Tie Dye Instructions

History of Tie-Dye

Tie-Dye Wiki

Folding Techniques

Tie Dye Your Summer

Tie Dying Techniques

Urban Outfitters Tie Dye Techniques