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How to tie dye a shirt

From preparation, to tie dye techniques, add a splash of colour to your wardrobe with these ideas of how to tie dye a shirt and upcycle your clothing.


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We all have those items of clothing that have sat in our wardrobe unused and neglected. Using tie dye techniques is a great way to upcycle your old clothes and add a bit of colour to your wardrobe; instead of chucking them out. Here are some great ways you can reuse your old clothes, including what you need, how to prepare, and how to tie-dye.

What Do you Need?

There are a number of different tie dye techniques, but no matter which you choose there are some basic items that you will need. These include:

  1. Clothes to dye

  2. Fabric dye

  3. Rubber bands

  4. Rubber gloves

  5. Newspaper to protect your work area

  6. A bowl and long-handled utensil for mixing the dye

Tips to Prepare to Make a Tie-dye Shirt

When it comes to knowing how to tie dye shirts, the preparation is as important as the dying itself.

  1. First, wash your shirt first to clean off any dirt that may affect the dying process. We recommend using a trusted detergent like Skip.

  2. Next cut out any manufacturer labels.

  3. Finally, submerge your shirt in hot water and wring out excess water. Damp clothing will dye more easily than dry fabric.

How to tie dye

Learning how to tie dye a shirt is easy; here are some simple steps to follow.

  • Follow the instructions on the fabric dye packaging and mix it accordingly.

  • Fold, twist, and bind your clothing using elastic bands to create the design you desire

  • Use a bottle to squeeze the dye directly onto your shirt if the fabric dye allows or dip your clothing into the bowl of mixed dye.

  • Slip your tie-dyed clothing into a plastic bag to keep it damp whilst the dye sets. The longer you leave it, the brighter the colours will be.

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How to Get Your New Tie Dye Shirt Ready for Wearing?

When it comes to knowing how to make tie dye shirts it doesn’t end with just putting dye on the shirt. You have to know how to finish the process.

  1. Cut the rubber bands off, ensuring you take care when using scissors.

  2. Use cold water to rinse your clothes by hand before machine washing.

  3. Rinse your clothes again using the hottest water available until the water runs clear.

  4. Pop your tie dye clothes into the washing machine on a normal cycle. Be sure to wash and dry your new tie-die shirt separately for the first few washes to protect against colour run.

So, when it comes to knowing how to make tie-dye shirts, you now have all the tips and tricks you need to be able to add a bit of colour to your wardrobe and upgrade your old clothes.

  • Wear gloves and cover your work area with newspaper to avoid getting dye stains.

  • Wear old clothes to avoid staining your favourite outfit.

  • Follow the mixing and washing instructions on your fabric dye.

  • Use a stain-removing wash product like Skip to wash your clothes afterwards.

Originally published