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Home School Life Journal
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales
painting by Katie Bergenholtz

Summer Bucket List: Have a Tie-Dye Party



Method #1: The Old-Fashioned Way

First you take a plain, white T-shirt that has been washed and decide where you want to start your design.
Then you twist the cloth and tie rubber bands to hold the cloth every inch or few inches.


Next place them in an already-prepared dye bath. We used 1/2 cup of liquid Rit dye and 1 cup of salt to 2 gallons of HOT water.

Keep the shirts stirred and under the dye. They want to float to the surface.

After 5-7 minutes, take them out. You will need to use tongs as they are hot.

Spray off with a hose to cool the cloth and to rinse off the dye so it won't get on the white parts.
Now it is time to reveal your masterpiece. Each one is unique.

Some worry that it won't turn out...

...but they are always beautiful...


...and unique.
If you want to add more colors, you can wrap your dry T-shirt again.


And put it in a second dye bath of another color.
You will get three colors: the colors of your dye and the third color will be the two colors combined.



Finished T-shirts, Camp Bergenholtz 2008


Finished T-shirts, Camp Bergenholtz, 2009

Finished T-shirts, Camp Bergenholtz, 2010
Camp Bergenholtz, 2012
Camp Bergenholtz, 2013

Method #2: Brighter, More Permanent Tie-Dye

After doing shirts a few years the old fashioned way, we decided to try something new. First we tried the Jacquard Tie Dye Kit which contained the dye in the three primary colors and 4 plastic bottles for mixing them in, with the extra bottle for mixing a secondary color in. It also contains vinyl gloves, rubber bands, and 1/3 lb. of soda ash dye fixer, plus instructions and how-to DVD.

We decided to do the spiral fold, which produces the most typical tie-dyed shirt pattern. 



Textile dyes work by creating a chemical bond with the material. This takes time but can be hastened by raising the pH. This is most easily achieved by soaking the shirt in solution of soda ash. Mix about a cup of soda ash in one gallon of warm water. Put the shirts in this mixture and let them soak for ten or fifteen minutes. 
Meanwhile, mix the dyes. The dye comes as a very fine powder to which you add water.
The Jacquard kit claimed to do 15 adult shirts, so I thought we would have plenty of dye for the eight of us (and some of us used children-sized shirts), but very early on we could see that the dye would not last without using the dye sparingly.


After you have dyed the shirts, you leave them in their folded position and place them in a plastic bag. Seal the bag and let it sit on a warm window sill for twelve hours to twenty-four hours. The colors become more brilliant as they set, so be patient.
To help you be patient, you can have a tie-dyed treat...
or two.

Camp Bergenholtz 2014
 When the colors are set, it is time to rinse the excess dye away. I unwrapped the shirts from the rubber bands and rinsed the shirts outside with the garden hose until the water ran clear. I then threw them all together in the washer and ran them through using hot water, and then dry on medium heat.
The shirts turned out great, the color was bright and we love them, but we needed to buy a kit with more dye in it. 
Camp Bergenholtz, 2015
So, the next year we bought a large Tulip Tie-Dying Kit, which had plenty of dye, but did not have any soda ash. You just add water to activate. They turned out with nice bright colors, and is probably what we will be using here on out.

Camp Bergenholtz, 2016
Regardless of what method or which dye you use, it is sure to be a fun summer activity and perhaps even become a summer tradition.

1 comment:

  1. Look at how much you've progressed! The tie dye plates and cake...that's awesome!

    ReplyDelete

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