My First Tie Dye

I know, I’m 33 and I actually have never tie dyed. It’s like one of those super common kid activities that I somehow never got to do. Not that I really cared.

So at school they are doing color days and each week the whole school wears a certain color. This was fine the first week when we did red, blue, green. But this second week we have days for pink and purple. Unsurprisingly, Lucas (and Landon) do not own anything pink or purple. At first I was going to check the consignment sales for cheap pink and purple shirts. But then I had the idea to make a tie dyed pink and purple shirt and he could wear it for both days.

I saw some cool examples that included a lot of black, which helps make having a pink and purple shirt look more boyish, and today we made some shirts.

The first one Lucas made was a black to purple to pink ombre. This isn’t really tie dye, just dying. You lay the shirt flat and brush the colors downward. I’m pretty pleased with the result, especially with it being my first go. Only issue was that when it was hung upright, the purple started bleeding down into the pink, so the pink section ended up being pretty small. I should have left it flat. Pink day isn’t until Friday, so after he wears it doe purple Monday, I’ll dump some more pink dye at the bottom to try to brighten the pink section. After I let it set for about 6 hours, I noticed that the colors bled out more for a nice smooth, even look – you can’t see the brush strokes anymore. The black bled to a greenish color, so now it is black-green-purple-pink. After i washed and dried it, I noticed a lot of color leached from this one. I think this is a combination of the smoother fabric of this shirt as well as that the colors were watercolored on rather than soaked in the dye.

The second one was done in like two minutes time because a storm was quickly approaching and I was just trying to get it done. It involved rolling the shirt top to bottom around a tube, scrunching it inward a little, and then dousing it with dye in different sections. I kept this one in a ziploc bag, and a few drops of purple got elsewhere on the shirt, but it came out okay for the most part. It seems the coarser cotton fabric of this one held the dye better than the soft blend of the first shirt. Just wish I’d had more time with this one.

All in all I’m pleased with my first attempt. When I have more time I’d like to actually try to make designs instead of just three solid sections of color.

2014-08-18 01.14.332014-08-18 07.14.142014-08-18 01.13.23


2 thoughts on “My First Tie Dye

  1. Verrrrry cool!! If i tried this there would be dye all over everything, including Ryan who would be insisting on “helping” and therefore sporting the colors himself.

  2. They did help. I just got everything set up to try to keep them clean, put them in old clothes, and showed them what to do. Lucas did his tshirt pretty much by himself. I squirted on the dye and then he brushed it to blend. Arianna helped with some of the brushing and sponge blending as well.

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