Tie Dye Basics: Quickstart Guide


This quickstart guide is a list of step by step instructions that you will need to complete for all tie-dyeing projects.

  1. Wash your shirts in warm water with no fabric softener just before dyeing
  2. Start with damp shirts, but ring any excess water out to ensure as much dye as possible gets into the fabric
  3. Spread out your shirt on a clean large working surface to fold, crumple, twist and apply rubber bands
  4. Mix dyes
  5. Place shirt on raised wire rack (if available) to prevent run-off dye from getting into segments that you don’t want it to
  6. Apply dyes to fabric
  7. Dig into folds and creases of the crumpled fabric to make sure you have enough dye on the inside layers
  8. Wrap your shirt in a plastic grocery bag or zip lock bag, making sure that it is not folded or bent which may cause segments to overlap and colors to bleed into each other.
  9. Leave your shirt AT LEAST 6-8 hours for the dye to set. Ideally leave it 24 hours or overnight.
  10. This is the hardest part, because you’re anxious to see your awesome designs. It will be worth it in the long run! Your colors will be more vibrant and last much longer, the more time you allow the dye to set.
  11. Once you’ve waited until you can’t wait anymore, take the shirt out of the bag and run it under COLD water until the water runs clear. Do NOT remove rubber bands, zip ties, or other segment dividers yet.
  12. Once the water is clear, remove rubber bands, zip ties and other segment dividers.
  13. Run shirt under COLD water again, wringing it out and squeezing it until all excess dye is removed
  14. Hang the shirt on a hanger.
  15. This is where we pause to take a photo of our incredible creation and post it on Instagram (Facebook, Snap Chat and Twitter are also acceptable bragging spots).
  16. Once you have finished this process with all the shirts, wash them in the hottest setting your washer allows, by themselves (with no other garments or wash).
  17. Use about 1/2 the amount of laundry detergent you would normally use for your specific load size
  18. Make sure the wash setting is on hot, but the rinse setting is on cold
  19. Dry on warm setting with fabric softener
  20. Slip into your brand new, groovy, warm tie dye and bask in your creative glory!