How to: A classic summer craft tie dye!

If you're like me, you LOVE tie dyeing. It's so much fun to see the colors blend together and create new and exciting patterns. But sometimes it can be a little frustrating when your results aren't as vibrant as you'd hoped, or the colors start to fade after a few washes. Never fear! I've got some tips to help you troubleshoot your tie dye and get the best results possible. Read on to learn more!

There's a lot of little things to consider when starting a new dyeing project, but the first and most important is the materials you're working with. For example, what type of fabric should you use? What color will work best? How do you set the dye? Here are a few tips to help get you started!

The best fabrics for making bright and vibrant coloured clothes is cotton, hemp or any other natural fabric. If you are working with a blend, you need it to be primarily the natural fibre, at least 70% or so. Anything less, and the dye will either fade with time or come out pastel, after the first wash. Dyes used for tie dye, do not adhere to polyester (and other man made fabrics) and will simply rinse off. 

To get the most vibrant hues, be sure to prewash your garment or fabric, during the manufacturing process various oils or coatings will be left on the fabric which will prevent the dye from properly going into the fabric.You can use anything you like for this step—soap or dishwashing detergent will do just fine! We do a quick wash in cold water to preserve electricity, with a laundry sheet. 

Now that you've got all your supplies, it's time to get started. Make sure the fabric is clean and either dry (for complicated patterns) or damp for good absorption before applying any dyes.  Procrion MX OR Reactive Dyes are great two choices when choosing which type of dye is best.  They are both professional, permanent and toxic free dyes. It is important to wear a dust mask, since the dye particles are rather small. 

Washing Soda is another must (unless using a kit where the washing soda is already combined with the dye.) Washing soda is a cheaper version of soda ash. The chemical composition is identical in both and can be safely used in its place. Salt may also be required (in which case it has to be non-iodized salt, for example kosher salt or pickling salt). Any deviation from these ingredients and the dye may not adhere. 

There are many tie dye kits and often they are great value for your money! It is important to look for one that says reactive or procion mx dye. 

Tie dye is a messy, yet exciting process that requires a clean/messy space and good ventilations! Perfect places are an outdoor space (backyard, front yard, or garage). We do not recommend doing tie dye in the kitchen since it is a messy process and the cleanup will take time. 

Depending on the design you do, you should lay your garment out and dye it, make sure the colors look great when wet. To fix the color leave the garment in a warm area for 24-48h. Rinse until clear and launder. We wash the garments about 3 times to ensure all the colour has washed off. After this you are ready to dry and wear! The dye should never fade and you will have a beautiful bright new item. 

Tie dye is a classic summer craft that’s perfect for all ages. Whether you’re looking to make a statement piece or just want something fun to do with the kids, tie dyeing can be a great way to add some color and personality to your wardrobe. Just be sure to follow these tips for vibrant and long-lasting results! What’s your next tie dye project?

How to: A classic summer craft tie dye!

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