Tie Dye Instructions

Courtenay Tie Dye Fabric Designs


Tie dye Instructions

The tie dye instructions here are basic, but will give a start on creating your own designs. You should feel free to improvise and perhaps develop your own unique method.

Prepare the cloth

Launder the shirts or cloth to remove any ‘finish’ in the material and iron out all wrinkles.
1. Cotton cloth or T-shirt, strong fine string, two to five or more different dye colours, About 3 quart pots and rubber gloves. (see Procion dyes online or tie dye instructions that came with your dyes).
Purchase dyes and fabric at Dharma Trading Co. or other supply Co. of your choice.

Prepare the Dye

2. I advise you to wear a respirator or at least a dust mask when mixing powdered dye. Wear the gloves while working with the dye. Put water into ( about a 2 Quart) pot. Spoon the dye into a small bowl then add a small amount of water and mix into a smooth paste, being careful not to breath the powder. Then stir it into the pot. (mix the dyes according to the tie dye instructions that came with the dye or see: Dharma tie dye instructions here

Tie Dye the fabric

3. Fold the shirts in half and then fold in symmetrical patterns. Tie with the string. (see tie dye instructions) Be creative, fold, twist and tie it all up in a neat little bundle. This bundle becomes like a container for dye and the object is to fill it up without overfilling it.

  • Dip each part of the bundle into the colours (one at a time) of your choice. Dip it into the first colour shallow at first, then dip deeper into the next colours choice. Just immerse the fabric in each successive dye long enough to penetrate with the dye.
  • While the fabric is in the dye watch how the dye is absorbing into the fabric and remove when it has penetrated to your satisfaction. Try not to over saturate because you don’t want the dye running out of the cloth and muddying up together.
  • Wrap in foil or plastic bag and let it sit at room temperature for minimum of4 hours, or up to 24 hours for the dyes to set. Remove the foil and rinse the entire cloth or shirt under cold water until no dye runs off the shirt. Machine wash the shirt in warm water with laundry detergent.. Dry in the dryer or hang on a clothesline to dry.

Tie dying requires some skill to produce a creative and satisfying design. However, this process is simple enough for anyone to master, but there are enough variations that even an experienced fabric dyer can still enjoy trying new techniques. Choose fabrics that are at least 90 percent cotton, as these hold the dye better than other fabric blends. Tie dye t-shirts, bags, napkins or just lengths of fabric you plan to sew into other projects.

I hope you enjoyed these simple tie dye instructions-this is just the beginning of coming up with your own unique style!