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How to Tie Dye a Shirt

Could your wardrobe do with an upgrade? Learn how to tie dye with our easy-to-follow guide and add some colour to your clothes today!


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If you’ve got a few plain clothing items in your wardrobe that could do with an upcycle, why not learn how to tie dye shirts? Tie-dye is a great way to add colour and create something that’s completely unique, giving your wardrobe a new lease of life. It’s also easy to learn how to tie dye, and much better than simply chucking the clothes out!

Follow these tips to learn how to tie dye a shirt and other clothing:

Always wear old clothing when learning how to tie dye shirts, and keep a quality detergent, such as Surf Liquid Detergent, in your cupboard to wash them afterwards.

Preparing to Learn How to Tie Dye Shirts

Before you start learning how to tie dye, you’re going to need a few items, including:

  • Clothes to dye

  • At least two different colours of fabric dye to learn how to make tie dye clothing

  • Rubber bands

  • Rubber gloves

  • Newspaper or a plastic sheet to protect your work space

  • A bowl for each colour dye and utensils with long handles

  • Squeezy bottles for each colour dye

Stock up on these after learning how to tie dye a shirt if you like the results, and you can experiment with different colours and techniques whenever you like!

How to Make Tie Dye Clothing

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Now you’ve got everything you need and prepared your clothes, it’s time to learn how to make tie dye shirts. Follow these steps:

  1. Mix the fabric dyes following the packet instructions, before pouring them into different bottles.

  2. Twist and fold your shirt, tying it with elastic bands, to create the pattern you want.

  3. Use your bottles to squeeze the dye in between the bands, making sure all visible areas are covered.

  4. Keep your shirt damp for brighter colours by popping it into a plastic bag whilst it dries.

  5. Once the shirt is dry, cut off the bands and rinse it in cold water before putting it in the washing machine.

  6. Using the hottest water this time, rinse the shirt again once it’s out of the machine, waiting until the water runs clear.

  7. Pop it back in the washing machine on a normal wash setting.

How to make tie dye shirts is really simple once you know the tips and tricks! Once you’ve got the hang of it, you can start playing around with different patterns and even teach your friends how to tie dye a shirt.

  • Cover your workspace to prevent the dye from staining your table.

  • Wear clothes that you don’t mind ruining with dye.

  • Always mix the dye according to the instructions on the packet.

  • Use a quality detergent, such as Surf, to wash the clothes afterwards.

Do you want to learn which household cleaning tasks cause the most stress?  Then read our Heated Household data analysis. 

Originally published