Tie-Dye DIY

Last week, I had a lovely day learning to tie-dye in my back garden before my friend and I headed off to London for a few days. It was surprisingly easy to do so I thought I would share with you my tips:

You will need:
Dylon Hand Wash Fabric Dye
Large bowls
Measuring jug
Rubber gloves
Elastic bands
White tshirts or other pieces of clothing to dye – we went to Primark and bought men’s tshirts for £2.50 each
1. Follow the instructions on the dye packets to mix the dye together. We used large plastic bowls to mix the dye and used a mixture of cold and boiling water to get the right temperature. We chose French Lavender and Ocean Blue – the blue was lovely but the lavender was rather pale and faded quite quickly. If we did it again, I’d love to try a bright yellow or red and think about colours which would merge well too.
2. Decide on your pattern. I created a Pinterest board of my favourite tie-dye techniques and examples. which I found extremely useful. I started by trying a simple circle pattern – you pick the tshirt in the centre and then fold it. Wrap elastic bands around the tshirt at even intervals to create the circle pattern:

I also tried a sprial pattern. Pinch the tshirt in the centre and twist the fabric round and round. Randomly tie elastic bands around it in different directions:












3. Add your tshirt to the bucket of dye. The instructions state that you should stir the fabric for 15 minutes and then leave it in the dye for another 45. Frankly, we were too lazy to do this so we only dyed the fabrics for 15 minutes. However if you have the patience, dye the fabrics for longer as they will be less likely to fade later on.












4. Take your tshirt out of the dye and carefully cut off the elastic bands. We then hung our tshirts straight out to dry naturally in the sun. After they were dry, we washed them together in the washing machine on a cool wash and then immediately tumble dryed them. Some of the colour did wash out but I think that letting the materials dry naturally really helped them hold their colour. Here are some shots of the final results:













What do you think? As I say, I love the colours but if (ie. when) we do it again, I’d like to try some brighter colours. It’s addictive stuff – we were soon trying to find anything white in the house that we could dye and then designing business plans so that we could tie-dye for the rest of our lives! It’s the perfect weather to create some summery festival wear for a fraction of the price compared to in store. Give it a whirl!

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