How to Reverse Tie-Dye


You may have tie-dyed before but have you ever tried reverse tie-dye? Reverse tie-dye is very different than tie-dyeing the traditional way. Unlike normal tie-dying, where you add color, with reverse tie-dye you are taking color away. With reverse tie-dyeing, you end up with a toned down tie-dye look as opposed to the vibrant colors seen in normal tie-dye. This is a simpler process that takes less time and fewer supplies. You most likely have everything needed for this project in your house already. Bleach is the main ingredient needed to take a plain colored item and turn it into a work of art.

Things You'll Need

  • T-shirt, socks, sheets or other clothing item
  • Rubber bands
  • Rubber gloves
  • Dust mask
  • Bleach
  • Decide what item you want to reverse tie-dye. Almost any item makes a good choice, but check its tag to make sure it doesn't say not to use bleach on it. Sheets, T-shirts and socks are some of the most popular items to reverse tie-dye. Just make sure you have a large enough container or sink for the item you choose.

  • Put your item flat on a table. Begin to twist your fabric. Take a rubber band to secure the fabric you just tightly twisted. You can do this as many times as you like.

  • Put the item in the sink. You can also use a container or large bowl.

  • Put on your rubber gloves and a dust mask. Add an equal amount of both bleach and water. For example, if you add 1 cup of bleach, you will add 1 cup of water. The main thing is to make sure your garment is covered in the bleach and water mixture. If you want a more bleached look, you can add a bit more bleach to your solution.

  • Soak the fabric. Let your item soak for about a minute. You can let it sit a bit longer if you want more color to be taken out of the fabric. Be careful because bleach will quickly take the color out.

  • Take the garment out of the bleach solution. Immediately rinse the item with water. If you are using the sink, just drain the bleach water and start rinsing with fresh water. If you don't wash the item immediately, it will continue to lighten in color.

  • Wash the fabric in your washer. It is best to let your garment go through a normal wash cycle. Use your regular detergent to wash the item and don't wash the item with anything else.

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