Tie-Dye Shirt Directions

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Tie-dying shirts is something that you should only try to do with certain types of material. 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 going to give you tie dye shirt directions. Brightly colored tie dyes are easy to make if you know how. The best type of dye to use for tie dyes is called a reactive type dye. And the reason reactive dyes are so good is because on cotton they're permanent. Once you've dyed the fabric, and after you wash out the loose dye that didn't fix to the fabric, no more dye will ever come off the fabric when you use reactive dyes. The first step in the tie dye process is to add soda ash to water. Soda ash is the chemical that causes the chemical reaction that sets the reactive dyes and makes them permanent. So we mix three-fourths of a cup of soda ash per gallon of water in a bucket, and then we take the shirts we want to dye, and we soak them in that mixture to get that chemical soaked in the fabric first. after you soak the shirt in the soda ash water, you take it out and you wring out the excess water, wring the water back into the bucket because you can reuse it. I'm gonna do a spiral real quick because that's an easy pattern to do. But you can do whatever pattern you'd like. Where I twist the shirt up like this, and tuck the edges around. Now I'm gonna put the couple rubber bands just to hold it all in place. In this kind of tie dye, the twists and folds provide the pattern, provide the resist, rubber bands are just there to hold your pattern in place. And now I'm going to dye the fabric, and I'm not gonna take the shirt and dip it into the dye, I'm gonna take the dye and squirt it on the fabric using something like a squeeze bottle. And so when I do a spiral pattern, I'm going to squirt these colors on like pieces of pie. Pretend like this circle's a pie, and squirt the colors on like pieces of pie. Where it comes to a point in the middle straight out like a piece of pie. And if I'm doing three colors in my spiral like this shirt, I'm gonna have three pieces of pie, each one a different color. So that was yellow, this is turquoise blue, and you want to saturate the fabric with dye. The mistake most beginners make when they tie dye is they don't squirt enough dye on the fabric. This is fuchsia. So I dye the shirt like that, and then after I squirt the dye on one side of the shirt, I flip the shirt over and put the same colors in the same place on the other side of the shirt. Fuchsia here, turquoise here and yellow here. After you're done dyeing the shirt, leave it tied up and leave it alone until you're ready for the last step in the dyeing process, which is you're going to wash out the loose dye that didn't fix to the fabric, and then I take it to a sink and I flood it with cold running water. A lot of loose dye comes off the fabric, and that's normal. The cold flowing water will carry away the loose dye and keep the colors from running together and keep the white areas white. I rinse and rinse until I kind of get sick of rinsing it, and then I untie the fabric and throw it in my washing machine and finish washing out the loose dye in my washing machine with warm soapy water. After I'm done washing it in the washing machine, I throw it in the dryer, and after it's dry, I have a nice colorful tie dye to wear.

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