How to Make Tie-Dye Shirts Brighter

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Things You'll Need

  • Fiber reactive dye

  • Cotton T-shirts

  • Laundry detergent

  • Soda ash

Image Credit: Images

Tie-dyeing T-shirts has been a favorite craft among adults and kids alike for decades. Creating unique and colorful designs allows you to personalize your own styles and color combinations into a T-shirt no one else in the world can copy. One issue with tie-dyeing is that it is often difficult to keep the colors bright after washing, but there are tricks you can do to keep your tie-dye shirts looking as bright and new as the day you dyed them.


Step 1

Pre-wash your cotton shirt before you begin the tie-dyeing process. This will pre-shrink your shirt, so you don't have to worry about it shrinking after you create your design.

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Step 2

Mix soda ash and water in your tie-dye bucket according to the measurements on the soda ash package. Each manufacturer's directions will differ.


Step 3

Soak your pre-washed cotton T-shirt in the soda ash and water mixture and then wring it out. You still want the shirt to be wet, but not dripping.

Step 4

Prepare your tie-dye design by using masking tape, rubber bands, string and a variety of other unique tools. There are a variety of techniques you can use to make unique designs, so get creative.


Step 5

Soak the T-shirt in fiber-reactive dye. The longer you allow the T-shirt to soak in the dye, the brighter and more permanent the color will be. To achieve a variety of colors and patterns, alternate soaking the shirt in different colors.

Step 6

Rinse your dyed shirt the next day under warm, running water until all of the excess color comes out and the water runs clear.


Step 7

Hold the shirt up to see if the colors are bright enough for your preference.

Step 8

Wash tie-dye T-shirts separately in cold water two to three times to set the color, and after the final wash, dry them either by hanging them on the clothesline, or in your dryer on low-heat setting.


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