I have been eagarly awaiting my delivery of tie tyeing goodies- the post man hath brought it today! I have quite a soft spot for tie dye, don't really know why- I think It's the uniqueness of individual pieces and the more natural designs that are created. ..........I just think it looks ace!
I have only ever tried tie dye once before but was in primary school so that is quite a patchy memory. So this wee colourful experiment is my first tie dye session that will hopefully be the first of many more. It is quite difficult to get tie dye clothing for sale in the UK so have decided to if I want something, I better do it myself.
After some research and a shed load of video tutorials, I decided to buy my equipment individually rather than a pre made tie dye kit.
A) because buying individual items gives me more colour choice and
B) better value for money.
The stuff you need for tie dying is:
COLOUR DYES: Since there are a vast array of colours out there and I am a noobie, I thought it best to start with choosing the three primary colours- red/blue/yellow, specifically magenta/turquiose/lemon yellow. The pack of dyes I bought were a unit of 6 colours so I also chose Cerulean blue, bright orange and black. The primary colours can be mixed to make the secondary colours. I chose black as it isn't an easy colour to mix from other colours, orange because it ace, and extra blue because well.............why not?
SODA ASH: helps the fabrics really absorb the colours and make them vibrant.
SQUEEZY BOTTLES: quantity depending on how many colours you want-used for applying the dye to the garments.
PRINT BLANKS: I used tote bags, drawstring bags and a t-shirt
TIES: you can use elastic bands, artificial sinew, string, zip ties- pretty much anything really. Synthetic fibres generally work best as they aren't absorbent.
OTHER RANDOM ITEMS THAT MAKE THE JOB EASIER INCLUDE : lot's of rags, plastic bin bags for covering a work surface, a bucket.
So first things first, you have to do some prep before the fun begins. The garments you're dying have to be soaked in a soda ash and water solution for at least 30 minutes (1 cup of soda ash to 1 gallon of water). You may as well get those soaking whilst setting up the other stuff.
Prep an area to dye- I put a black bin liner over my wooden table so the surface is wipeable and smooth. Get your items to hand that you'll be using like rubber bands, string etc. so you don't have to go wandering around trying to find stuff as it's quite a messy job.
The dyes I used are Jacquard procion mx dyes, they come in powder form so you have to mix the powder dyes with water to make the different colour solutions. The instructions on the tubs of dye say to mix 2 teaspoons of powder dye to 8oz of water.I bought a load of squeezy plastic bottles so I can mix as many colours as I want. I used one of my bottles to measure out the quantity of water by marking on 1 bottle exactly 8oz so I could just use that as my measuring device. I just mixed a bit of water at a time so the powder dissolved without forming any clumps. Give the bottle a quick shake and viola - ready to cause some mess.
Once the garments have soaked for at least 30 minutes, pop em into the washing machine and put it on a spin cycle. This makes sure to get any excess water out but still a bit damp. DON'T RINSE THE SODA ASH SOLUTION OFF!
I tied my t-shirt first, using a combo of zip ties and rubber bands. I wanted to have a go at the v shape pattern so tied the tee in a way that would give me that effect. I learned how to do various different ties by watching tutorial vids online. ..........watch this space - I may have to do a tutorial video for tie dye when I am more confident with the process.
Once the garments are tied it's ready for the messy bit-as you can see in the photos, you need a lot of rags!! I pretty much winged it when it came to putting the colours on. I didn't have anything planned beforehand, just went with the flow to see what will happen. So Next time I will have a frame of reference to work from and change things that I didn't do so well.
Once the colours are applied, wrap em up in plastic bags or in my case cling film. leave em be for 12 hrs/ next day.
Once enough time has passed, rinse the garment under cold water and untie DUN DUN DERR!! the reveal....... the best bit of the whole process :)
Some of the bags didn't come out as expected but the t-shirt was amazing, I am well chuffed with it. I'm going to always wear tie dye, everything will be tie dye, I will live in a tie dye world! MWHAHWMAHAHAA
Lessons learned from this experience? Always wear gloves!! :) tie the ties tighter, don't use as much dye ( some of the least successfull bags didn't show much pattern because of saturation) be organised. errrrm, think that's it. oh yeah, use a cooling rack to put the tied garment on when applying the dyes so any that runs out of the fabric won't pool underneith it to cause cross contamination of colours.