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Old 05-15-2005, 04:46 PM   #1
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OT: Anyone know how to tie dye?? Read on....


We're making tie-dyed shirts for Disney, and started out great. I bought Golden Yellow and Royal Blue RIT dye, rubber bands & white tank tops. I did the blue end first then the yellow end, letting the colors mix in the middle a little bit for a small section of green. The colors turned out gorgeous... very bright and the pattern was so cool once we removed the rubber bands and rinsed with the hose.


Once I rinsed them and then washed them with laundry deterget (as it states on the package) the colors are very muted, almost pastel, and hardly any contrast. I'm so bummed out. I even added "almost" a cup of salt to each batch to maintain color (also as stated on box).

The only thing I can figure is I didn't soak in dye long enough, but the box said to soak until you reach desired color up to 30 minutes. Well, the shirts "took" the color almost immediately, the longest I kept them in was 10-15 minutes. Is that the problem?

Need feeback. Thanks~
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Old 05-15-2005, 04:53 PM   #2
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Move this over to the crafting board.
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Old 05-15-2005, 06:56 PM   #3
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I've only done a couple times (once in bulk), so you will probably get much better answers, but...........some things I did was............... I washed the shirts to remove the sizing chemicals and we have always done a fixative treatment to them. That sets the color. (I've seen it call for soda ash instead too) Then when I rinse in washer I rinse with vinegar before I run it through with detergent. We have never had our colors fade.
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Old 05-15-2005, 07:56 PM   #4
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I tie-dyed shirts with my kids and some neighborhood kids. The kit I bought used soda ash to soak the shirts in prior to dying. Colors look great even now after many, many washings. Good luck.
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Old 05-15-2005, 08:12 PM   #5
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Its the dye you are using, if you go to a Hobby Lobby or a Michaels craft store you will find the stronger colors you desire!! Rit dye does tend to 'bleed' or lesson as time goes on... my grandmother said to soak it in salt water will "set" the colors, but I find that you have to start out with a cotton shirt (most have polyester blends) it 'takes' the dye better, but if you were to buy the strong dyed shirts, you'll find them to be a polyester blend... I will say go to Michaels or Hobby Lobby!!
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Old 05-15-2005, 08:59 PM   #6
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The last time I did this with my students we let ours all hang on a clothesline for awhile before we rinsed everything out. It seemed to help.
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Old 05-16-2005, 08:05 AM   #7
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There's a great kit you can get at most craft stores. You mix the dye in squirt bottles, so you can so shirts with up to 5 REALLY bright colors, and very little mess (if you color outside ) I think it was 19.95. We used half of it and colored 5 shirts, a pair of pants, and 5 pair of socks. Still have the other half of the kit packed away for the next time the tie dye bug hits!
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Old 05-16-2005, 08:14 AM   #8
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we tie dye every summer -- make shirts for everyone in the family for our beach trip. anyway, i agree that you need to buy a kit at michaels or any craft store. it should include some ash-something. can't remember what they call it, but you soak the shirts in it first. also, after you squirt on the colors (w/ the included squirt bottles), you are supposed to wrap the shirts in plastic wrap for several hours before rinsing. our colors always come out, and stay, very bright! last summer we did red yellow and blue and they are still very bright.

good luck!
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Old 05-16-2005, 09:10 PM   #9
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It's critical to use a fiber reactive dye. RIT dyes effectively just stain the fabric. These will bond with it on a molecular level. We have always gotten our supplies here:

Below are a couple of examples of the results.


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Old 07-10-2008, 05:34 PM   #10
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Good Dyes

Another place to get good dyes, as well as great tie dye kits is at Dharma Trading. They have a website if you want to google it.
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Old 07-10-2008, 05:45 PM   #11
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One thing the kits say is that after you've dyed them to wrap them in saran wrap and let it sit for 24 hours. It gives the dye a chance to really soak in to the fabric.
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Old 07-10-2008, 05:51 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by irky416 View Post
One thing the kits say is that after you've dyed them to wrap them in saran wrap and let it sit for 24 hours. It gives the dye a chance to really soak in to the fabric.

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Old 07-10-2008, 06:11 PM   #13
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I've moved this thread to our Arts and Crafts board.

ETA: Whoops! I just noticed that this thread was resurrected from 2005. Mods, feel free to throw it back to me if you'd like.

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