Thursday, 17 August 2017

You must try this dying technique - Amazing results!

Last week I was fortunate to take part in a local youth camp called Staying Alive. It's organised by the Church of England but brings together leaders and youth from a range of Christian backgrounds. I was helping lead a group but had also been asked to run an "EXTREME" craft workshop, as the theme was NO FEAR.

Now my mind ran to the most extreme crafts I could do with a bunch of teenagers - I could have started hacking at chunks of wood or brick or making extreme clay work - like raku firing. However, the safety and time limitations meant something a little tamer, but still amazing! So I opted for space tie dye. The results were sooooooo good that I thought I'd share my method here.

You will need:
Washing soda (soda crystals - without bleach)
Elastic bands or strong string
A bucket
Plastic bags
Procion dye in a range of colours (Dylon cold dye works well)
Bottles with a nozzle or Jars with lids and pipettes.
Pre-washed cotton fabric/ t shirts etc.

1. Prepare the dye.
I like to do this in a jar and use pipettes to put the dye in the fabric (but you could do just as well with a squeezy bottle with a nozzle). Put about 1 tsp of dye in a jar and dissolve in a small amount of hot (but not boiling) water. Make your dye up to about 100-150ml.

2. Prepare the Soda solution.
Dissolve about 200g of the washing soda in about 1 litre of hot water, when dissolved add more cold water to about 2/3 litres.

3. Prepare the fabric.
Tie the fabric tightly with string or elastic bands. there are many ways you can tie fabric in order to dye it. It's worth experimenting with bands of colour, circles, spirals etc.There are some great ways to tie your fabric here. Once the fabric is tied you need to soak it in the soda solution until it's soaking wet. then wring out as much of the liquid as you can - you could use a spin cycle on the washing machine for this if you wish.

4. Dying the fabric
On a waterproof surface place your pre soaked fabric. using pipette add dye to the fabric. you can be quite random, or more planned in the layout of colours. you do need to think about colour theory. Harmonious colours will work best and you should avoid just using everything as you can end up with a mush!

5. Leave to dye
Once you have covered all of the fabric with dye. pop it into a plastic bag and leave for at least an hour or overnight.

6. Rinse
Rinse the fabric in cold water to get rid of the excess dye. Then remove the bands/ string and rinse again. It's worth rinsing in warm water and spinning before hanging up to dry.

7. Admire
Admire your EXTREME tie dye. The results are super and impressive - and anyone can do this!
Remember when you first wash your tie dyed items to wash them separately as there can still be
some excess dye.


  1. I'm retired now but was in college in the late 1960's. Tie dye is still fabulous to me. and I have a tie-dye tee from a local artist. I need to get more in different colors. Love your color combo. It sings to me. #PoCoLo

  2. I love the colours you managed to get! #pocolo

  3. That sounds and looks like fantastic fun! The t-shirts look amazing! Fantastic colours. #PoCoLo

  4. I have done a bit of dying myself. I did it to make my girls Christmas Santa sacks. Would love to try those other activities you've mentioned. #PoCoLo

  5. How fab - remember doing this as a teenager, but not quite so adventurous! Thanks for sharing with #PoCoLo


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