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Friday, September 12, 2014

DIY Fun : Tie Dye

The thought of tie dye takes me back to middle school craft club, I remember learning all the twisting techniques and having so much fun with it. It's something I've wanted to play with again for a good few years, having a little one now meant I have an excuse to dye some vests and I figured if they didn't turn out great they could still be used under her clothes in winter, so I did it!

I picked up a selection of plain white vests from Asda, some cheap elastic bands in different sizes and 4 colours of Dylon fabric dye. You can pick up tie dying sets online or in Hobbycraft but I didn't like any of the colour combinations and felt like going oldschool with this, seems more fun than the  controlled "add water to bottles and shake" method of the kits!

I used half of the contents of each packet in a bowl with the required about of warm water and salt, then stirred thoroughly. It's very important to get your water warm enough, you can see here the yellow dye did not mix properly as the water I added wasn't the right temp, no matter how much stirring I did, it wouldn't smooth out.

Since I'm crazy like that, I decided to do my dying in the bath (If you have a garden, that's a very good place to do this!) I ran the shower over the tub first so any dye spills wouldn't immediately stain.

I placed my drying rack on one side and the bowls of dye in the other and hoped for the best! After some extreme googling, I found some great tutorials on how to band up your shirts for different dying effects. Check out Colorful Steve on YouTube he makes this look easy, I used his heart method and then went for a few random spirals and lines.

I tied everything up and then ran it all under the luke warm tap to dampen them, I didn't want them too wet as I wanted to be able to control the colour to some extent, but leaving them totally dry makes it difficult to work as the dye wont soak up or spread very easily.

As this was all pretty much trial and error for me, I went ahead and just dipped the clothes in each dye as I fancied. I used my spoons to pour on some colours and dunked other areas until I liked the effect. I left each item scrunched up on the rack for a few hours and then rinsed everything in cold water until the water ran clear.

The most fun part of all this was taking off the elastic bands and seeing which ideas had worked and which hadn't. The heart was recognisable but not quite as good as I hoped, while some of the spiral designs I didn't think would look great, actually turned out really cool.

After rinsing I threw them in the washing machine on a 30 degree quick cycle and then air dried them.
These were my favourites (I apologise for not ironing these first!), I'm glad I only used half of each dye pack as I can have another go at this now and hopefully get even better results. The colours faded a lot, I still like them but wish I had let everything sit overnight before rinsing out.

I'm calling this a success either way, especially since Enid loves this cute tri colour one!

Have you ever tried tie dying?