Brooklyn-based artist Ruth Moskell, 31, says beginners shouldn’t be afraid to try tie-dye. The at- home color enthusiast, who teaches workshops at Artists & Fleas in Soho and sells her dyed wares on her online shop, PeterPiperBK, suggests that new colorists try the traditionalspiral design, a classic pattern that looks dramatic but is actually simple to master.
You need a plain white cotton tee to absorb bright colors.
You will need soda ash tie dye yoga clothes and a sister to baking soda to make the shirt. If you want to soak the shirt according to the directions, combine the ash with water. It is ready to go if you ring it out so it is not soaking wet.
Moskell says that skipping this step is a mistake. She says that it helps the dye bonds to the fibers.
You will want to have rubber bands, sturdy zip-close bags, and a large dropcloth to keep your workspace clean.
1. Mix it up
It’s a good idea to cover a table or a flat surface. Moskell suggests combining powdered dye with the professional pigments from Dharma Trading Co. She suggests that you pick colors that will contrast, rather than blend, as a mixture of red and green, yellow and purple, or blue and orange will turn a brown.
2. Pinch and twirl
Start with a pre-soaked T-shirt lying flat on a covered surface. Put your dominant hand in the center of the tee. Cool circular folds should start to form if you turn the fabric clockwise. Take it easy until the shirt is rounded into a spiral.
3. Tie it tight
Three rubber bands are needed to keep the sphere in shape. Wrap them so the bands intersect in the middle.
4. Drizzle away
Put your tee in front of you. Moskell likes to use a baking sheet to catch the extra liquid and puts her garment atop a plastic rack for more precise application.
When wearing rubber gloves, squirt dye directly onto the fabric in thirds so that each color takes up two of the six wedges Moskell says it is important to apply dye to both sides of the shirt and work it into the folds of the spiral.
5. Soak it in
If you want to make sure the color is set, put the shirt in a zip-close bag for at least four hours. It is even better to rest overnight.
6. Rinse and release
It takes three rinses to get the dye out. If you don’t remove the rubber bands, run the shirt under the water. Then you have to do it again with hot water. You can remove the bands and look at the creation. Before you wear it, wash it in a hot-water wash machine. Pop it in the dryer and it will be in color.