Friday, July 8, 2011

How to~

A couple of people have asked about our tie-dye technique, I'm no Dead Head, but here's how I do it-
We live fairly close to a great art supply store, if you aren't as lucky, there are plenty of places online to order dye. We always use Procion cold water reactive dye. Lots of colors and fading doesn't seem to be an issue. We have shirts that we dyed 10 years ago that are almost as bright as when we originally dyed them.

You'll need Soda Ash. Also known as Sodium Carbonate
It's generally going to be available where ever you get your dye, or you can buy it at the pool store.
I've done both.
Then you'll want a big tub. Use about a cup of soda ash to 6 or so gallons of water.
Pre-wash your 100% cotton shirts (socks, skirts.....)
Soak your fabric in the soda ash solution. Don't skip this step. The soda ash fixes, or sets, the dye. I like to leave mine 3 or 4 hours, but I've done it for as little as an hour with no problems.
While your shirts soak, gather the rest of your supplies.
Rubber gloves.
Rubber bands
and or string, to tie your shirts.
DYE!! You don't need this many colors, you can make a great shirt with 2 or 3 colors.
 It's possible I went a little crazy on the dye aisle.
You'll also want bags to put your shirts in after you've dyed them while the dye sits for 24 hours.
Mix the dye according to the directions on the jar.
Tie your shirts. I wear gloves while I'm doing this, there's soda ash on your shirts now which can irritate your skin.
There are tons of sites that offer tips on how to tie and dye your shirts for specific effects.
After you've applied the dye, put your shirt in a bag, zip it up, and set it aside until tomorrow.
In the morning (or afternoon, evening......) lay your shirts out and spray them with water until the dye (mostly) stops running. Untie your shirts and spray again.
Once you think you've rinsed most of the excess dye from your shirt toss it in the washing machine.
I try to wash like colors together, if you've used a lot of colors this can make for several loads of laundry, but the dye will transfer during the spin cycle. Better safe than sorry. 
Wash, dry, wear, and be groovy.

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