Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Have a Tie Dye Party

Tie-dyeing is based on the traditional art of folding or tying fabric to resist the dyes and create unique patterns of color. Whether you are tie-dyeing T-shirts or marbling fabric for quilts and home accessories, you can't go wrong with trying your hand at tie-dyeing.

Basic Supplies Needed:

Rubber gloves
Rubber bands, string, or 2-inch wide strips of cloth
Plastic to cover your work surface (you can split open a large heavy trash bag to do this)
A 3-gallon bucket or tub for each color
Rit or other Dyes
Long-handle stainless steel spoon
Plastic Bags
Masking Tape and Permanent Marker

First you will want to pick the pattern or design you want for your tie dye. Here are some quick examples:
Image found on Flickr via  weavingmajor
Basic Tie-Dyeing Instructions

We used two packets of dry Rit Dye per tub.  8 Colors in all to chose from.
The first thing you should do is choose your colors. Most people say you can choose one, two, or up to three colors. (This is the case when you want to turn some colors into another when they mix so you would have up to six colors once finished)
*I think you should be able to use as many colors as you want to, just keep in mind you have a possibility to make brown if you mix too many together.

When using more than one color, it's usually best to start with the lightest color. When tie-dyeing with two or more colors, plan to put adjacent primary or secondary colors next to each other. In the areas where they run together, they will create a third, great-looking color. For instance, red and yellow will produce orange; blue and green will make cyan; fuchsia and blue will create purple.

I thought the curbs would be helpful for the kids to be able to step up and tie dye w/ help. 
Here I am giving a quick dye lesson on choosing colors.

So many color options
Annette @TasteePastree shown dyeing a tote pictured below
Once the attendees finished adding their colors and dyed all parts of their items they wanted to be dyed we wrapped the item up in a trash bag and secured it with masking tape.  This helps the items sit and the color to cure properly. Participants can write their name with the marker on the tape and pick up their items at the end of the party this way too so that the mess is minimal.  Keep in mind that while the buckets have the dye in them you can dye all kinds of things in the dye baths.  Here is an example we did before where just dumping buttons into the dye baths can refresh boring and simple buttons.

After the item has set for a full 24 hours it can be washed.  Read the instructions paired to the type of dye you use to make sure of the best washing instructions for the colorfastness of the dye - however, I like to suggest that you rinse with warm water first until it runs clear then shifting to the same with cold water before adding any additional soap and cleansers. Do keep in mind that the item has been dyed when laundering it after the initial cleaning.  Treat the items like all other laundered items that may bleed by washing separately OR with like colors.

Here is some totes we dyed at the Etsy Craft Night at CRAFTED:
Great way to freshen up all those tote bags!
Note: I love using natural dyes as much as possible and I want to put it out there that I have no statistics or figures on what the impact of using Rit or other dyes waste water does to our ecosystem... I like to think of tie dye as a method to bring second life into old t-shirts or shopping bags.  If you can have a more intimate party that involves a heat source you should totally have a natural dyeing tie dye party using methods like these.


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