Teen Craft: Tie and Dye Your Own T-Shirt


Even though tie-dye clothing first made its appearance in the 1960s, it is still a popular choice. Children and teens, as well as some adults, wear tie-dye clothing. Here’s how you can tie and dye your own t-shirt.

 

Rather than using commercial dyes, you can use simple food colourings which you probably have in your kitchen cabinets. Food colouring won’t give as deep a colour as commercial dyes, but it’s safe for everyone to use. You’ll need the following items to tie and dye your own t-shirt:

 

* Light-coloured t-shirt (wool, silk, and nylon work well; cotton may not work as well for food colouring but does work with clothing dye and soda ash)

 

* 2 Buckets or bowls of clear water

 

* Rubber bands of various sizes

 

* Plastic bags

 

* 2 or 3 colours of food colouring or clothing dye

 

* Condiment bottles, one for each colour

 

* Vinegar

 

* Salt

 

Begin by soaking the t-shirt in an equal amount of water and white vinegar for about 15 to 20 minutes. Take the t-shirt out and wring as much water out as possible so it’s still damp but not dripping.

 

Spread the damp t-shirt out on a table and grab the centre. Hold the centre and twist the shirt and put rubber bands around the shirt or tie knots in it. This is what gives the shirt its unique look.

 

Mix the food colouring or dye in the bowl with water. You can also place the mixture in the condiment bottles. When using bowls, dip the shirt into the dye; if you’re using the condiment bottles, squirt the mixture onto the shirts.

 

Since you’re using at least two colours, you can dip separate parts of the shirt into the dyes to create colour explosions on the fabric. If the two colours overlap they will create new colours. Once the shirt is dyed to your satisfaction, wrap it in a plastic bag and place the bag someplace warm. Leave it there for a minimum of 8 hours, up to 24 hours. However, don’t let it get too hot - depending upon the fabric, it may begin to shrink.

 

After the rest time is over, remove the rubber bands from the shirt or untie it. Fill a bucket or sink with clean cool water and one cup of salt. Stir the water until the salt has dissolved as much as possible. Rinse the t-shirt in this water. This will help set the colours. Keep rinsing until no more colour shows in the water. Then wash and dry the t-shirt with other coloured clothing.

 

Tie-dye t-shirts are popular. Now you know how to tie and dye your own t-shirt you can have the latest fashion item and have the satisfaction of knowing you’ve made it yourself. Of course, once your friends see your t-shirt, they may ask you to help them make one, too.

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