Sunday, 23 February 2014

DIY | Tie Dye

You may recall in my last post that I mentioned I had been thrifting recently. Well here is a little more of what I managed to find on that particular journey and what I did with them. For a while now, my gal pal Ruby had been trying to organise an afternoon of tie dying, so whilst we thrifted we looked for white cotton garments to use as our canvas. That afternoon we took to my backyard and tried our hands at the funky art that is tie dye. 

white fabric to dye (natural fabrics like cotton, linen and rayon work best)
Tie Dye Kit  (we used one from Jacquard but any of similar description will suffice)
rubber gloves
rubber bands
disposable plastic sheet (we used a plastic party table cloth)
large bucket (for soda ash)
plastic bags and/or cling wrap

Now most of the steps you will find in the Tie Dye kit that you purchase. They provide you with exact measurements for the specific products you use so I won't go into too much detail with that.

First step is to dissolve the soda ash power in tepid water in a large container. Soak all the garments you wish to dye in this water for about 20 minutes (again, instructions may differ). During this time it is best to decide how you want your item to look; many kits will have several different designs and instructions for you to follow. I chose 'the brain' design for both of my items because this is my first attempt and I wasn't fussed with specific designs to begin with. 

After your items have soaked, lay them on the plastic sheet and contort into the shape you desire. Mine involved scrunching the fabric with my hands until it resembled a brain shape. Continue the process by securing the item with rubber bands. The bands will hold the item but also semi-protect those lines from soaking in the dye. You can see in the pictures above that Ruby's socks are covered in bands in specific ways where as mine are a lot more random. 

You then proceed to cover your items in dye. Again, I wasn't fussed with specific designs and went a bit crazy with whatever colour I felt like. I was aiming for a bit of a crazy colour and pattern design with just the desire to have a shirt that looked tie dyed. Ruby, more experienced, used specific colours on specific sections of her items. Both are acceptable and both turn out great. There is no wrong way to dye and they all end up looking pretty cool.

Once all your items are shaped and covered in dye, place in a plastic bag or wrap in cling wrap and leave for 12 - 24 hours. 

Take items out of plastic, undo the rubber bands and hang up to dry. Once dry, wash individually in a warm water and hang up to try again. Warm water helps colours to stain the fabric (thats why you normally rinse stained clothes in cold water). 

Once dry your items are done! You should have some pretty snazzy looking tie dyed garments. Again, whatever tie dye kit you have purchased may have different instructions so feel free to follow those against these but this is what worked for me. The most important thing to remember is that there are no rules and even mistakes will turn out looking awesome. 

Have fun and happy dyeing! 
Erin xx

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