How to Set Tie-Dye Shirts

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Tie-dying shirts is something that will always require you to have access to a few key tools. Learn how to tie-dye shirts with help from a tie dye professional in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Tie-Dye Techniques
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name's Steven Lee, and I'm gonna teach you how to set tie dyed shirts. Now if you went to a fair and you bought a tie dye somewhere, and you've got it home and you through it in the washing machine and it's bleeding all over, there's not a lot you can do. But if you're tie dying yourself, and you're using reactive type dyes, I'll show you how those are set. To set the dye with a reactive type dye, you use a very common chemical called sodium carbonate. Sodium carbonate's like a main ingredient in laundry soap or Mr. Bubble bubble bath, it's also called soda ash, and what we do with soda ash to set dye in reactive dying is we add it to water, and the recipe's three-fourths of a cup of soda ash to a gallon of water, like in a bucket. And then when we tie dye, we prepare our shirts by dipping in this soda ash bucket, to get that chemical soaked in the fabric first. When we soak our shirts in the soda ash water, there's no real particular length of time we have to soak them in. If you just dip them in, and get them thoroughly wet, that's, that's fine. You don't have to let it go for 15, 20 minutes. And after I soak the shirt in the soda ash water, I take it out and I wring it out, but then I leave it wet, and then I lay it on my work surface, and then I'll tie it up and then I'll dye it.


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