DIY Tutorial: Tie-Dye Tees
YOU CAN TIE-DYE ANY ITEM OF CLOTHING PROVIDED IT’S COTTON, SO LET’S GET TO IT!
By Lizi Woolgar
A great tie-dye T-shirt, in my opinion, is an absolute staple. If you’re style is more Zara – workwear and frills galore – this kind of baggy tee might not slot into your wardrobe quite so well. But don’t forget, you can tie-dye any item of clothing provided it’s cotton, so if you fancy jazzing up some autumn options, why not have a go at this tutorial?
What do I need?
- Cotton clothing (tees, dresses, cardigans, socks and all the rest!)
- Tie-die kit (I got mine from ebay) The kit is not essential however you need everything it contains so I would recommend buying one .The dyes you’ll get are of far better quality than craft shop dyes.
- Rubber gloves
- Elastic bands (loads!)
- Large bucket(s)
- Bin/Trash bags a-plenty
- Scissors, beads, sewing kit (optional for additional DIY)
You got all that? Good good, let’s get started.
1. Lay the T-shirt flat and pinch the centre section. Wrap an elastic band tighly around 1-2cm down to make the centre of the bullseye.
2. To create the outer circles of the bullseye, keep wrapping elastic bands directly below the central one at irregular intervals, until it resembles the image above.
3. For the swirl design, pinch the centre and twist into a spiral, either clockwise or anticlockwise – it doesn’t matter!
4.Once your spiral is as tight as can be, use one hand (you might need a foot too) to hold it in place, then wrap multiple bands around the outside to keep it together in the ‘spiral lump’ shape, as I like to call it (see below).
5. Now: the fun bit! Lay out plenty of bin liners (cut ’em in half first) ideally outdoors and place down your elastic-banded goods. Prepare the dyes as the kit instructions say – this might involve soaking the clothes in saltwater for a short period prior to using the dye.
6. Add each colour of dye in turn in between the banded spaces. A word of warning: the dyes do spread incredibly rapidly through the damp material, so try to underdo it first. You can always add more! Similarly, you can’t just throw the dye on willy-nilly (like my first tutorial) as you’ll get some ugly browns from the mixing (as demonstrated above by my maggot-like tee).
7. Once you’ve used every last squeeze of dye, wrap the clothes in bin bags and leave overnight for the colours to take. The following morning, rip off those bands and rinse the items with cold water to reveal your pretty patterns! Exciting stuff.
8. Chuck the clothes into the washing machine for a quick spin-cycle to rinse off the excess dye.
9. Make a cuppa, sit back and admire your handiwork.
10. If you fancy getting even more creative with your T-shirts, simply follow my first tutorial for the beaded tassel top to create this effect:
HORIZONTAL-DYE DRESS EFFECT:
And finally, if you want to try creating a horizontal-dye dress effect, follow these simple steps:
1. Simple slip or thin straps work best for this. You know the drill by now; lay it out on a flat surface to begin.
2. Fold your dress in 4-5 sections lengthways to create a long, thin strip.
3. Tie the bands up the dress at a larger distance apart than the bullseye, until the entire dress resembles a string of sausages (ew).
4. Follow the basic dye, leave overnight, rinse and wash rules and hopefully you should end up with something looking a little like this…