How to Do an Accordion Tie-Dye Shirt

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Doing an accordion tie-dye shirt is something that you can do by pleating the fabric in a very specific way. Do an accordion tie-dye shirt 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, I'm Steven Lee, and I'm gonna teach you how to do an accordion tie dye shirt. I've soaked my, a t-shirt in soda ash and water, and now I'm gonna wring it out. And then I'm gonna lay it on my work surface and we're gonna tie it up. Get the shirt nice and flat on my work surface, and then I fold the shirt over so the sleeves are together, and then what I do is I pleat the fabric perpendicular to the way I want the stripes to run. So on this shirt I know I want to make vertical stripes, so I make horizontal pleats at right angles to that line, and how I make a pleat is I take a shirt and I just pinch it up to make a little pleat. And then I push that pleat up and make, and gather those pleats together. So I'm pushing and gathering these pleats all the way up the shirt. Once I get to the sleeve I just take the whole thing out, and, and make nice pleats to there. Then I take big thin rubber bands and I put them around the fabric, just to hold all those pleats together, and also give me guidelines where I want to squirt the dye. So I'm gonna put rubber bands every inch or so, to give myself guidelines where I'm gonna squirt the dye on this shirt. So I'll put three or four rubber bands. After I have the shirt tied up, I'm gonna dye it by squirting the dye on the fabric. So I'll squirt some colors on here. And I want to saturate the fabric with dye, but not squirt so much dye that it's soaking totally through to the other side, because I'm going to flip the shirt over and put different colors on the same place on the other side, and that way you have alternative colors in your stripes. So we'll just dye this up turquoise. And I'll just put red on the sleeve here. So I saturate the fabric with dye. Now I'm gonna flip the shirt over, and I'm gonna put different colors in the same place on the other side. So there I put red, and now I'll put turquoise. If you get a little mess on parts of it, don't worry about it, it's tie dye. Don't be too concerned about where the dye goes all the time. Mistakes are okay. So I put that on. On this yellow I'm gonna have a solid stripe of yellow down the middle, so I'll just keep that yellow, and then we'll put yellow over here. And then I'll keep a solid bit of red on the outside. Okay, now I'm done dying the fabric, I'm gonna leave the shirt tied up and leave it alone until I'm ready for the last step in the dying process, which is to wash out the loose dye that didn't fix to the fabric. This is an example of a stripe pattern using accordion fold that I just showed you. And here we squirted yellow on one side, blue on the other side,and that's why the colors alternate on the pattern.


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