master beats headphones How to Tie Dye an Old White Shirt

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Introduction: How to Tie Dye an Old White Shirt

Tie dye shirts are almost as American as apple pie. It’s impossible to be sad while wearing tie dye colors especially if you accessorize with your favorite rainbow loom bracelet!

While some instructions suggest using string I find that rubber bands work the best. The results will not be as vibrant. They include rubber gloves, rubber bands, soda ash, urea and complete, easy to follow instructions. The dyes are already in the squeeze bottles, all you have to add is warm water (not hot). Other alternatives include buying single packages of dyes. These also come with the necessary urea, soda ash and instructions for mixing. However, you would need to purchase some squeeze bottles separately if you don’t have any.

Although I have used kits, I prefer to use the Procion dyes as supplied by Dharma Dye. They have a great website where you can buy all you need. A funnel and a measuring curt are also useful for mixing the dye. Oh yes, don’t forget to have paper towels and paper plates to hold your shirt while it’s being dyed, and old rags to mop up the spills. Tie dying does not have to be messy!Step 4: Soaking the Shirt

To enable the Procion dyes to bond with the shirt, you need to soak it in a solution of WARM water and soda ash for about 10 minutes. Follow the instructions given with the soda ash so that you have the right mix. Do not use water that is too hot or too cold and add a couple of tablespoons of common salt to the mix too!! Make sure the mixture is thoroughly dissolved before adding the shirt. The temperature of the water should be about about the same as a baby’s bath! As the soda ash is slightly caustic you may want to wear rubber gloves at this point, especially if you have a cut on your finger it will sting! After soaking,
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wring the shirt out thoroughly. The more liquid that you can squeeze out, the more dye will be able to get in! I usually spin my shirts on the spin cycle of the washing machine. (Note if you use a brand new shirt, wash it first to remove the newness, which I think they call “size”. This “sizing” will prevent dye from bonding properly, and you may get a streaky effect.)Step 5: Tying a Rainbow Swirl Pattern!

After you have soaked and wrung out the shirt (by the way, if you don’t do it in the washing machine, try wringing it out with a friend!) place the shirt on a flat surface. Place it right side down, as you will then get a sharper pattern on the front of the shirt. Of course if you want the sharper pattern on the back well, you know!

This what your shirt should look like at this stage. Do not allow the shirt to creep up the dowel rod, make it behave with the hand not turning the dowel rod! You are now ready to remove the dowel and put on the rubber bands. The trick is to place the bands, without disturbing the shirt! It can be done! Be careful removing the dowel. You do not want to pull the shirt up in the middle thus unachieving pie! This part of the process is the most important step of all. Slip several bands on (see the picture) then turn the shirt over and put on some more. This keeps its shape. Keep the whole thing as flat as you can. Your are now ready to dye!
master beats headphones How to Tie Dye an Old White Shirt
Step 8: To Dye For