You will need: Something to tie-dye - for beginners, I’d recommend something 100% cotton, you’ll get the best dye – a plastic table cloth, a bucket, fabric dye, salt, rubber bands, rubber gloves, washing line or drying rack, squirt bottles and sealable plastic bags (optional).
Not only have tie-dye pieces come right back around again in terms of fashion, but it’s super-easy, and extremely addictive to make them at home. Tie-dyeing something as pathetic as a pair of tired, mismatched socks can give them a whole new lease of life.
Love the tie-dye look? Then take things one step further and give your home a 1960s vibe with a piece of statement hippy homeware – the room will never look dull again!
Step 1. Choose your items
What you tie-dye is totally up to you – give an old white t a brand new look or pick up a set of these pastel-coloured Christy towels for the bathroom and make them over with a tie-dye twist. You could even go all out and tie-dye some fabric before you attempt the DIY cushion covers we featured back in November.
Then lay a plastic table cloth over your work space – tie-dying can sometimes get messy. Make sure you have all your supplies ready on the table too.
Step 2. Create your design and secure rubber bands.
You need to decide what pattern you’d like to end up with before you start. Some of the easiest include chic stripes, a central spiral, or small rosettes. Then secure your rubber bands accordingly – this guide shows you where you need to place the bands for each design.
Alternatively you can just knot and tie your item randomly, this turns out surprisingly well!
Step 3. Soak in soda ash and prepare your dye baths
Lots of dyes come with soda ash, which helps the dye and the water to bond. If yours is one of these, then soak your tie-dye item in the soda ash solution for around 20 minutes. Then dissolve one cup of salt in hot water in your bucket, and add the dye.
Want a pastel shade? Add slightly less die than the manufacturer recommends.
Step 4. Dye away
Soaking your fabric item in the bucket of dye for a few hours (up to eight) will give you a gorgeous two-tone effect.
For something more multi-coloured, use squirt bottles (a recycled tomato ketchup or shampoo bottle, for example) to dye different sections, and then leave the items in sealed plastic bags over night.
Step 4. Rinse
This one’s pretty self-explanatory; once the dye has set, rinse your shirt in a sink. Alternatively, to avoid mess and keep all operations outside, pick up one of these retro-looking watering cans online from Bents. They’re perfect for rinsing out a tie-dye t or two and double up as quirky vases.
Step 5. Reveal and dry off
It’s time for the big reveal. Release your rubber bands and check out your masterpiece, guaranteed to have turned out better than you expected! Then hang or lay to dry on your cooling rack or washing line and you’re all but finished!