• Tie-Dye DIY: The Basics

    If you’re looking for something fun and fresh to do this summer, tie-dye is your answer! We asked Allegra and Stevie from our women's design team to teach us how to tie-dye.  Follow this step-by-step DIY project to get the basics on this summer's psychedelic trend!

    "Tie-dyeing is really easy. Everyone can do it with just a few, simple materials that can be found at your local art store, and about an hour of your day.

    Here's what you'll need:

    1. Dye (Either powered dye or basic RIT dyes)
    2. Plastic Squeeze bottles (Use them for added technique!)
    3. Rubber bands (The rubber bands will resist the dye on the fabric. Also depending on how many things you are dyeing, you will probably want to buy a large bag of rubber bands—usually best to buy the standard size or larger. Try getting thicker and thinner bands for added design!)
    4. Rubber gloves (The dye will stain your hands for no more than a couple days, but it's best to just wear them just in case. Also wear clothing you don’t mind getting dye on!) 
    5. Plastic buckets or bins 
    6. Scissors
    7. Plastic sheeting or garbage bags (Place these on the floor to prevent getting dye everywhere!)


    Step One
    Gather up anything you want to dye. Be sure to check the label to make sure you know what you are dyeing. Most dye, like RIT and iDye will dye almost anything (specifically, iDye is usually for natural fibers like cotton or rayon and iPoly is for polyester and other synthetic fibers).

    Step Two
    Before you start dyeing, soak the items in water and ring dry. The dye will take better to the clothes if they are wet-out first. You can do this in a sink, bucket or bin. If it is a garment that you have just purchased, it might be a good idea to machine-wash it first with a little detergent. 


    Step Three
    Mix your dye! If you are using powered dye you can mix up any color you want. Tie-dyeing isn't an exact science, but be sure to read the label of any dye box to make sure you are using around the correct rations of dye and water. Depending on your designs, you can mix the dye to a more saturated stage or make them washed out. Try to do a few bottles with a saturated color and mix a few with more water so they dye to a lighter shade. After reading directions on dye box you will know whether to use cold or hot water.

    Step Four
    Time to twist up and rubber band like hell!  Our cute friend Poe helped us put on the rubber bands.

    Step Five
    You're officially ready to start tie-dying!  Don't forget to put on those dang gloves! Begin by applying the dye with the squeeze bottles you mixed up in Step Three. Use as many colors as you want! If you have only a few colors of dye, you will probably get a rainbow of colors because the dye will bleed into each other. For the denim shorts, We only used a hot pink and sunshine yellow. The dye mixed into an awesomely unexpected super bright orange! 




    You can apply the dye in sections, polka dots, stripes—really any way you can possibly think that will be cool!  Apply as much dye as you think is necessary. It’s probably best not to completely soak your fabric bundle, but a good amount is necessary. The best part of tie-dyeing is experimenting!

    Step Seven
    After you’re all dyed out, let your garments soak over night in plastic bags to ensure the dye really sets into the fabric.


    If you don’t want your dyes mixing, place each bundle in a separate plastic bag. For instance if you don’t want any dark blue on those cute orange shorts, do not put them in the same bag! Place the bundles in the plastic bags to keep the dye moist on the fabric and dyeing all night long.

    Step Eight  
    This is the best part.  Get ready for some magic!  After dreaming about your tie-dye all night, undo your plastic bags and rinse your tie-dye bundle under cold water before cutting off rubber bands. You can also rise after you cut off all rubber bands but the dye might bleed into the white areas.  If you feel as though there is not enough dye, just add more! Tie it up again and go at it.


    After Care
    The care and wash rules are very particular to tie-dyed garments. Be super careful not to mix fresh tie-dye with any other clothes in the washing machine! The most important things to remember are as follows: 
    1. Do not wash with any other clothing for at least one machine wash load. Do a separate load in cold/cold water with a small amount of detergent, and tumble dry right after dyeing. 
    2. Dye will most likely bleed into the white areas when washed or rinsed after rubber bands are removed. 
    3. Over time (after several washes) the dye will certainly fade. But the best part of tie-dye is that you can do it anytime, again and again and again, to almost anything!

    Happy tie-dyeing everyone!"-Allegra and Stevie

    Stay tuned for more DIY tie-dyeing tips from our women's team this week on the blog!