How to Tie Dye
How to Tie Dye
We have a lot of tie-dye techniques on this site that show you how to tie dye like a pro, but sometimes you just want to know the basics! Check out this section for easy tie-dye instructions that will work whether you want to tie dye a shirt, a pair of socks or any other fabric item!
What you’ll need:
Each One-Step Tie-Dye Kit you get from Tulip contains at least one pair of protective plastic gloves and one set of rubber bands (or more), depending on the kit you select. Once you choose your favorite tie-dye kit, all you need is something to tie dye! We recommend 100% natural fiber fabrics like cotton, rayon or silk for best dye results. Synthetic fabrics like polyester may not absorb the dye very well, if at all, so make sure to stick to natural fabrics when tie dyeing.
Before you start tie dyeing, make sure to wash your fabric item to remove the sizing, which is a protective chemical on the fabric that keeps it looking fresh and wrinkle-free while in the store.
If tie dyeing indoors, first cover your work area with plastic to avoid accidental dye stains, then grab your damp fabric directly from the washer and prep it for dyeing.
Fold, twist and bind your fabric according to your chosen tie-dye technique, using rubber bands, string or zip ties to secure it. Note: Rubber bands, string and zip ties all work great for binding your fabrics – the choice is totally up to you!
Once your fabric is secured, it’s time to mix your dyes! Put on the protective plastic gloves from the kit to keep your hands clean if you feel like it, if you don’t, don’t worry, Tulip dyes are nontoxic! Then remove the dye bottle tips (leaving caps in place over tips) and fill the bottles with water up to the black fill lines. Replace the caps and shake the dye bottles until all of the dye is mixed. Pour water into the bottle up to the black fill line, then replace the cap and shake the dye bottle until all of the dye is mixed.
Remove the cap from the dye bottle tip and squeeze dye onto different sections of your bound fabric to your liking. You might need to rotate and/or flip your fabric as you are applying dye to make sure you cover all sections.
Tip: Placing your fabric on a wire rack while dyeing prevents it from sitting in pools of dye and muddying the colors while the dye sets.
Cover your tie dyed fabric in plastic to keep damp while the dye sets. Let it set for 6 to 8 hours or longer for brightest colors. After your fabric has set for the recommended amount of time, fully rinse it under running water until the runoff is clear, then launder separately according to the tie-dye instructions included in your kit.