Tie dye shirts are almost as American as apple pie. It’s impossible to be sad while wearing tie dye colors — especially if you accessorize with your favorite rainbow loom bracelet!
While some instructions suggest using string I find that rubber bands work the best. Either way, the most important thing is that you have fun preparing an old tee for its transformation into a rainbow masterpiece.
Step 1: The shirt, fit to be dyed!
The shirts that work best are 100% cotton, but you can also use 50% cotton/50% polyester. The results will not be as vibrant. I once tried to dye a 100% polyester garment and when it was unwrapped - all the dye washed off! The dyes only bond well with natural fabrics, like cotton, silk and rayon - but we're talking cotton here....
Step 2: Presenting your choice of dyes
You can buy dye kits very easily in the craft stores, which come with everything you need. They include rubber gloves, rubber bands, soda ash, urea and complete, easy to follow instructions. The dyes are already in the squeeze bottles, all you have to add is warm water (not hot). Other alternatives include buying single packages of dyes. These also come with the necessary urea, soda ash and instructions for mixing. However, you would need to purchase some squeeze bottles separately if you don't have any.
Although I have used kits, I prefer to use the Procion dyes as supplied by Dharma Dye. They have a great website where you can buy all you need. http://www.dharmatrading.com/dyes/ Procion dyes are the best and brightest dyes, I thoroughly recommend them. If you mix the dye powder yourself however, always wear a mask so that you don't inhale the powder into your lungs.
Step 3: The tools you will need for success
If you are like me and not using a pre-packaged kit, you will need the following; Procion dye, rubber bands, rubber gloves, squeeze bottles for the dye, urea and soda ash. Oh yes, don't forget to have paper towels and old rags to mop up the spills. Tie-dying does not have to be messy!