Tie-Dye at Home: Everything You Need to Know!

Last Updated on 6th April 2024

Tie-dye is once again really popular. You might see splashes of blue and yellow on Instagram and Tik Tok as the popular 60’s trend makes a comeback. It’s really simple to get started with tie-dye. You can spruce up an old plain white tee and it’s a fun family activity if you have kids.

What You Need

Tie-dye is such a popular craft as it’s so simple and you don’t need much to get started. Plus, with so many people wanting to become more sustainable with their clothing choices, it’s a great way of giving a new lease of life to old pieces. So what do you need to get started for your tie-dye?

  • Rubber bands or string
  • Damp t-shirts (or whatever item you’re wanting to dye)
  • 500ml warm water
  • Measuring jug
  • 250g salt
  • Protective gloves
  • Fabric dyes – the colour choice is entirely up to you!
  • Large bowl

Tie-Dye at Home: Everything You Need to Know!

Your Work Area

You’re probably aware of this, but tie-dye is a pretty messy activity. So it’s important to prepare a work area where you’re willing to make a mess. The kitchen could be a great area to base yourself as you’re near a sink and the surfaces are easy to wipe down.  You’re working with dyes so you don’t want to stain furniture or clothes that you don’t want to dye! Wear protective gloves to cover your hands during the crafting.

The Basic Method of Tie-Dye

You can follow these simple steps to tie-dye. Squeeze excess water from your t-shirt and leave it damp. Then wrap sections of it in rubber bands, this will create the pattern. Wearing your rubber gloves, dissolve the dye and salt into the water in a measuring jug. Repeat this step if you’re using multiple colours. Put the shirt wrapped in the rubber bands into a bowl and pour over your dye mixture. Leave to soak for a minimum of one hour. Keeping the bands on, rinse in cold water until it runs clear. Then untie and wash in warm water. Leave to dry, out of direct sunlight, and then you’re done!

Branching Out

One of the brilliant things about tie-dye is that each time you try it, you’ll get different results. Once you’ve got to grips with the basic tie-dye technique, you could branch out and try other methods to create even more unique clothing pieces. There are lots of tie-dye techniques you can try. From using a fork to experimenting with pebbles. You can get really creative with your colours and patterns to get some fantastic results.

Whether you want to upcycle your old clothes or do a fun family activity, tie-dye is a great way to spend your weekend. It’s a wonderfully simple way of freshening up your wardrobe. What’s your favourite tie-dye look?

What is Tie-dye?

Tie-dye is a technique of dyeing fabric by immersing it in a vat of tie-dyed indigo dye. The immersed thread or yarn becomes too heavy to stay submerged, and the result is an intricate pattern where the lighter spaces between each tied knot become visible. Although tie-dye can be applied to any cotton or synthetic fibre, it often uses natural dyes such as madder for its more vivid colours.