Introduction: Candy Cane Tie-Dye

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Nothing says Happy Holidays like a peppermint candy cane. We realized that it would be a fun and easy shape to tie dye and we are going to show you how. These make great gifts or dye up one for the whole family for your traditional holiday greeting card photo!

Step 1: What You'll Need

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Step 2: Preparing Your Fabric

Be sure to pre-wash your garments in Professional Textile Detergent (or Synthrapol) to make sure you get the best results. The first part of this will be easier if the shirts are not too wet so spin them out a little more or pop them in a short dryer cycle.

Step 3: Making Your Mark

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Lay your garment out flat on a table and grab your Auto Fade Pen. Decide how big you want your candy cane to be and draw an outline. It is going to look a little like two half hearts. You can redraw your lines if you need to, the old ones will automatically fade.

Step 4: Folding It All Up

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Now, following the lines, pleat up the fabric. The smaller your pleats the more stripes your candy cane will have.

Tie the pleats snuggly in place with your rubber bands, line them up as best you can over your guide lines.

Step 5: Soaking Your Garments

Next, mix up your soda ash soak. You need 1 cup of soda ash per gallon of warm water, mix up as much as you need to soak all your garments. Soak them for 5-10 min while you mix up your dyes.

Step 6: Mix the Dyes

For the colors we used #10 Fire Red* and #30A New Emerald Green*. We needed 4 tsp of dye per cup of warm water and 1 TBS of Urea. We pasted up our dye with a little of the urea water before putting it in our squeeze bottles, then we filled the rest of the bottle up with more warm water.

Step 7: Almost Ready to Dye

Take your garment(s) out of the soda soak solution and squeeze out the excess, you don’t want them to be super drippy.

Pro-Tip: You can spin your garments out in the washing machine or a dye room dedicated salad spinner so they will absorb more dye.

Step 8: Start With Your Red Dye

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First apply the Fire Red. Carefully apply it between the two rubber bands, this is going to make the red stripes of your candy cane.

Step 9: Next Comes the Green Dye

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Cover the rest of the fabric in the New Emerald Green being careful not to overlap (makes brown!) it into the red. You want to go just up to the rubber bands but not over.

Step 10: Give It a Flip

Carefully flip your item over, and not on the same spot it was laying before, so as not to contaminate your colors, and repeat the dye application on the other side.

Step 11: Now We Wait...

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Place the garment in a plastic bag or cover with a plastic sheet. Let it batch for 12-24 hours.

Step 12: Wash Out the Excess Dye & Enjoy!

Picture of Wash Out the Excess Dye & Enjoy!

Once the dye has set, rinse your garment(s) under cold running water. As you rinse you can cut off or untie the rubber bands. Keep rinsing until the water runs mostly clear. Wash in a HOT wash with more Professional Textile Detergent. Dry as normal.

Pro-Tip: Use a little Milsoft in your rinse or wash a second time with your normal detergent for a softer feel when you wear your shirt for the first time. Use a baby friendly product for a final 2nd wash if the item is going to be for infants or toddlers. Now you are stylin’ and ready to be the hit of all your holiday parties in your Candy Cane Tie-Dye!

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