I don’t know about you, but I am loving seeing tie-dye pop up in my feed right now and I am excited that it is finally having its moment again! When I was in high school, I loved to tie-dye in all sorts of crazy colors.
I still love a good tie-dye, but I find that many of the tie-dyed clothing online is super junior focused and crazy colorful. I wanted to create a more subdued and sophisticated tie-dye that was less about the splash of rainbow colors and more about a subtle mono-dye.
Since I am spending a lot more time at home, I decided to wear tie-dye clothes that can be dressed up or down. It’s easy and fail-proof because there are no crazy patterns or colors involved, which means you can be as lazy or as creative as you want. I will show you how to make your own tie-dye, but you can choose any color you want.
WHAT YOU NEED
- Plastic Gloves
- Rubber Bands
- Plastic Dye bottles
- The containers need to hold at least 4 cups of water.
- The container needs to hold at least 8 cups of water.
STEP ONE: PURCHASE YOUR GARMENTS
This is the most crucial step. When you are using cotton, tie-dye works best. Synthetic-based fabric won’t capture the color as well. Make sure the pieces you pick out are at least 90% cotton to make sure they are consistent. Make sure you wash your clothes with laundry detergent and leave them damp for the dyeing process.
My tie-dye picks are Cropped Tank Top, High-Rise Biker Shorts, Joggers, Crew neck pullover, Boxy Cropped T-Shirt, and Over-sized Drop Sleeve T-shirt.
STEP TWO: PREPARE YOUR DYES
If you follow the instructions on the dye package, you can choose any color you want under the rainbow. The dyes are more powerful and quick to absorb than those from your standard tie-dye kits, and they have more color variety.
Adding more water or more dye to your tie-dye solution will allow you to create a variation in shades. You can mix and match different dye colors to get the color you want. There is a lot of helpful tips for dying on the website of Rit Dye.
I mixed two different dyes to create a blush tone for my garments. I used a combination of Tan and Wine, but you can use Sandstone, Camel, Tangerine, and Rose Quartz as well. Salt should be added to your dye mixture after you read the instructions on the package.
Below are my tie-dye formulas, from left to right.
- 4 cups of water, 2 cups of Tan, and a small amount of wine natural yoga wear.
- 4 cups water, 1 cup Tan, and a small amount of wine are included.
- The blush 3 has 4 cups water, 1 cup Tan, and 1/2 cup Wine.
- 4 cups of water, 2 cups of Tan, and 1 cup of Wine are included.
We will get to this step later, but you will want to create a dye bath to dip your garments into after the tie dye has set.
STEP THREE: TWIST & TIE
I did a simple, random tie dye and it turned out to be cool. Simple twist or bunch together random parts of the garment and tie it off is what I like.
Tie a rubber band around the fabric to hold it in place. The top and bottom layers of the garment should be grabbed in your twist.
This will repeat until your entire garment has been bunched, twisted and tied off.
STEP FOUR: DYE TIME!
For the fun part. If you want to squirt your dye out onto your garment, you need to transfer your dye mixture to small bottles. Add the color randomly to the garment.
I squirted dye bottles randomly when I was methodical about the placement of my dyes. If you are doing a tie dye like the blush example I have provided you, you won’t be able to tell much variation in the colors. This is normal.
For a true tie-dye effect, aim for saturated patches of color.
STEP FIVE: SET THE DYE
Before untying it and rinsing it with cold water, let the dye set for 1-2 hours. The water should run clear.
STEP SIX: DYE BATH
If you want a tie-dye with no white, this step is necessary. There are some patches of white left where the dye did not reach when it was tied. You will need to make a very large bath to soak the entire garment in. The white parts of the garment capture a slight color and evens out the tone of the entire garment for a true Monolithic look.
The color of your dye bath should be very faint because of the heavy ratio of water to dye.
The ratio of my bath is below. I doubled the volume of water, but kept the same amount of dye. Enough water is provided to soak the entire garment.
Place your garment in the bath and leave for a while. The water should run clear after rinsing with cold water.
STEP SEVEN: WASH & DRY
Warm water and detergent can be used to wash your garment. If you wash it by itself, the dye will bleed and transfer to other items that are washed with it. Hang up your garment when it is dry.
I was surprised by how good the results were. I love the blush color that I created. It is the perfect neutral tone that I was going for and will look great with my other clothes. The amount of ties and neutral tan/ pink tones were used to get a variation in the effect. I want to mix and match these pieces.