Friday, May 31, 2013

DIY Project: How to Dip Dye a T-Shirt

I don't know about you, but I'm thinking this sounds like a fun weekend project!  These instructions were provided courtesy of Anthropologie- one of my favorite stores!

And to me, this looks tons easier than tie-dying.  There are no rubber bands to deal with, and you only use one color of dye.  It takes literally less than about a minute to complete the dying process.   You just need to be extra careful to not touch the white part of your t-shirt as you wring out the dye. You don't want to accidentally smudge it all up.  

Here are the quick and easy instructions if you want to give it a try...

1.  Assemble your materials.  Make sure your t-shirt is washed and dried, and you can obviously use whatever color Rit dye you like.  This example uses teal. 

2.  Boil one gallon of water.  Pour your package of dye into the bottom of your glass bowl, and pour the boiling water over the top.  

3.  Make sure you have your rubber gloves on for the remainder of these instructions.   Stir the water and dye together, making sure the dye is completely dissolved.  Once completely dissolved, add the laundry detergent, and continue to stir. 

4.  In a sink, wet your t-shirt to the point you want your dye to reach- usually 1/2 to 3/4 of the way up.  Twist out all excess water.  

5.  Now you are ready to start dip dying your shirt.  Lower your t-shirt into the dye up to the point you dampened it. This initial dip dye needs to be very quick, as the dye absorbs very fast.  Literally dip and pull out to the next section; this can be as thin or as wide as you like. 

6.  Let the color develop in the second section for 20 seconds and pull the t-shirt up to the last section. Hold this last section for 30 seconds or more, depending on how saturated you want the color to be.

7.  Pull the t-shirt out, making sure to keep your hands on only the part with dye, so to not spread color to the white section. Twist out all excess dye.

8.  Head back to the sink and run the dip-dyed section of the t-shirt under lukewarm water until the water runs clear. Twist out all excess water, again keeping hands clear of the white section.

9.  Leave your t-shirt to dry and when ready, wash it on its own to make sure it does not leak any excess dye on your other clothing. That's it- you are all done.  Pretty simple, and pretty cool too!

After you're finished with this project, are you still looking for more fun craft ideas? If so, go check out this big post of World's Most Loved DIY Projects. You're sure to find something you like!

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  1. How much laundry detergent, or is it listed in the Rit instructions?

  2. From the RIT dye website Tips for Success section: Add 1 Tablespoon laundry detergent to all dye baths to help promote level dyeing.