How Do You Tie-Dye a Shirt?


Quick Answer

Tie-dye a shirt by gathering and tying it into different shapes and placing it in fabric dye. The actual tie-dying process varies depending on if you are pre-treating the shirt and what kind of dye you use. You need a shirt, dye, rubber gloves, a bucket or spray bottle, long-handled utensils, soda ash, water, rubber bands or string, and a plastic sheet.

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Full Answer

  1. Wash the shirt

    Wash the shirt before dying.

  2. Prepare the working space

    Lay a plastic sheet over the area to protect it from the dye.

  3. Tie the shirt

    Lay the shirt on a flat surface. Tie parts of the shirt with rubber bands or string to make different shapes.

  4. Prepare the dye

    Put on rubber gloves to protect your hands. Prepare the dye. The specific preparation depends on the type of dye your are using. For instance, some dyes require you to soak the shirt in a bucket while other dyes can be prepared and placed in a spray bottle. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on the label.

  5. Pre-treat the shirt

    Pre-treat the shirt in soda ash if the manufacturer of the dye suggests it. Other dyes require the shirt to be soaked in hot water first.

  6. Dye the shirt

    Soak the shirt in the bucket of dye or spray with the bottle. Some dyes require the shirt to stay submerged for up to 24 hours. Follow the instructions that come with the dye.

  7. Rinse the shirt

    Rinse the shirt as instructed by the label.

  8. Wash the shirt

    Wash the shirt alone in cold water for the first two or three washings to prevent it from bleeding onto other clothing items.

  9. Clean the area

    Clean all items used in the dying process with hot water as soon as possible.

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