The following is the fourth post in our “How To… Bring Camp Home” blog series.
Tie-dying is a super fun project that kids (and adults) of all ages can really get into. Any article of clothing can be tie-dyed – from t-shirts to socks – as well as other things made out of cotton (or a cotton blend) – think bags, pillow cases, tapestries, towels, laundry bags, aprons…
You’ll need to cover a table or work outside. Once you have a station set up, you’ll need the following supplies:
- Buckets, pots or dish tubs
- 2 or more colors of fabric dye
- Soda ash (sometimes comes with the dye)
- A long-handled utensil (to stir the dye)
- Rubber bands or string
- Spray bottles and plastic squeeze bottles
- Ziploc bags (optional)
- Rubber gloves
- Washing machine
Before you dye your item, you should wash and dry it. Then soak the item in the soda ash for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the dyes according to the manufacturer’s directions. Before using the soda ash or dyes, be sure to put on gloves for protection.
Next, it’s time to tie! Any part of your item that the dye can’t reach will stay whatever color your item started as. You can create the designs by folding or twisting the fabric then tying it with string or using rubber bands to keep it in place. You can also use the string and rubber bands to aid in creating the design.
This site, Echoes of a Dream, has some instructions on how to create some designs and pictures of how they will come out: http://simmy.typepad.com/echoesofadream/2006/06/how_to_tie_dye.html
And here are some illustrations of a few basic tie dying folding and tying techniques: http://www.prochemical.com/directions/Folding.htm
Next, dip the shirts in dye for all over color (minus the unexposed parts, of course). You can also use the squirt bottles to get dye in the creases or place colors strategically. Use the spray bottles to create even more designs. Get creative – this is the fun part!
Once you are done dying, the items need to set for 12-24 hours. They need to remain wet though, so you may want to store your designs in a plastic bag.
After setting, remove the rubber bands and string and wash the items with like colors in really hot water using Synthrapol detergent. Hang to dry or use the dryer and in no time … Voilà! You’ve created a masterpiece!