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How to Make a Rainbow Tie Dye T-Shirt

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

We thought it was about time to write a blog showing you how to make this funky rainbow spiral tie dye T-shirt. They come out slightly different every time so once you’ve made one, you’ll want to make one hundred. It’s that addictive. Here’s how:

You will need:

Start by prepping your T-Shirt. Lay the shirt out flat on a table. Use a clothes peg to pinch the middle. Make sure that the peg holds both the front and the back of the shirt. Using the peg as a handle, start to twist the shirt. Try to get fairly even peaks and troughs: if you get any mountains of fabric, just tuck them in. 


When your shirt is twisted into a vaguely round shape, use elastic bands to hold it together.


Use three bands over one another to create six segments.


Soak your shirt in a solution of warm water and soda ash. Use 1tbsp of soda ash for every litre of water. For just one shirt, we used two litres. Soak the shirt for at least fifteen minutes.


Whilst the shirt is soaking, prepare your dyes. Add 1tsp Procion MX dye to 200ml warm water. We recommend that you wear rubber gloves as the dyes will stain!


Use a funnel to decant the dye into one of the squirty bottles and shake to mix.

Repeat this for the other two colours of dye.


Your six segments are going to form a colour wheel. Each of your three primary colour dyes will be squirted into three of the segments. Every other segment will have two dyes squirted into it, creating a secondary colour!


After your shirt has finished soaking, squeeze out any excess water and lay it onto a piece of cling film.

Take a bottle of dye and squirt your first colour into three of the segments (half of the shirt). Turn over and do the same on the other side.Wipe any excess dye off the cling film. You don’t want your shirt sitting in it or the colours will mix.



Next, take the second colour. Squirt into three segments, starting with the last segment of the previous colour. Wipe down the cling film again.


Finally, take the third bottle and squirt into the final three segments. Make sure you have put all three colours on both the front and back of your shirt.


You should end up with a wheel of shirt that looks a bit like this! The dyes will start to mix and you will begin to see the orange, green and purple segments appearing.


Wipe off any excess dye again, and wrap the shirt up in the cling film. Leave for 24 hours for the dye to set. Don’t be tempted to move it around too much or the dyes could mix!


After 24 hours (well done for waiting, we know it was tempting), unwrap you shirt and, leaving it tied up, rinse in cold water until it runs clear. Remove the elastic bands and wash with Metapex or non-bio detergent (if using a machine, please run on the hottest wash with detergent and an empty drum before doing your next load or prepare to have multicoloured socks).

Here is our finished T-Shirt!


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