How to Tie Dye – Tips & Tricks for the Perfect Print

how to tie dye

Let’s tie dye! Harlee and I have had such a fun time tie dyeing everything in our house. After we went through what we owned, I bought tea towels four times and then started gifting them to friends. It’s really fun to do as an adult only project or even with kids. Sharing tips and tricks to tie dye everything from tees and tea towels to your fave slip dress. 

How to Tie Dye – Tips & Tricks for the Perfect Print

In my experience with tie dye, natural fibers such as silk, cotton and linen hold more dye and offer a brighter and higher quality result. I also prefer to pre-wash the materials and start the process while the material is still damp. When it comes to materials, it doesn’t matter what you’re dyeing as long as you’re using a natural material. I do find that polyester can dye but it bleeds heavily and the colors are not as saturated.

Tip #1: secure all folds with rubber bands. The tighter the tie/band, the less bleed between colors. Also, the more rubber bands you use, the more white space will remain on the finished product.

Tip #2: to avoid a lot of white on your finished product, use enough dye in the folds so the material is very saturated.

Tip #3: remember the color wheel from elementary school? That’s super important to keep in mind when placing colors. Don’t place “opposite” colors next to each other to avoid dyeing everything brown. Colors to avoid next to each other area red and green, blue and orange, yellow and purple.

Tip #4: if you want pastel colors, dilute the dye if you’re using a tie dye kit like I do. The more water you use, the less vibrant the dye will be.

Tie Dye Techniques

Bullseye: Fold the material in half twice to get a square. Then roll and apply rubber bands at intervals along the fabric.

Classic Spiral: Make a small pleat right across where you want the center to be and begin to twist. Secure with rubber bands. I generally use 3 rubber bands to create 6 equal sections.

Sunburst: Use the rubber bands to pinch and bind fabric in several places all over the garment. This will make circles of color.

Crumple: This is super easy to do! Just crumple the material together and secure with rubber bands.

The Tie Dye Process

After your apply the dye, allow the dye to set for 3-6 hours. I find that I get long lasting and vibrant color in just 3 hours. After the color sets, I rinse out with luke warm water in the sink. Then I wash and dry on its own.

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