Tie-Dyed Rainbow Bandana




Introduction: Tie-Dyed Rainbow Bandana

About: I like to make things more simple with easily available resources. My favorite quote: A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write...

Tie-dying is an art for creating wide variety of designs on fabric. There are different techniques for folding the fabric like spiraling, knotting, scrunching, folding and stitching and then applying the dyes to make eye-catching patterns.

The colorful rainbow bandana you see here is dyed using tie-dye technique. The following steps explain how to make this at your home.

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Step 1: Materials Required

All the materials I used here are part of contest prize pack I received from instructables.

  • A large white handkerchief 21 inches by 21 inches in size.
  • Three different color dyes in powder form, Turquoise, Lemon Yellow and Fuchsia.
  • Three Squeeze bottles for applying the dyes
  • Soda Ash fixer and dye activator.
  • Urea
  • Textile Detergent and Rubber bands
  • Hand Gloves and Dust Mask

Step 2: Prepare Your Cloth

Most of the new fabric are coated with fabric softeners and fabric finishes. They may prevent the dye being absorbed into the fabric. So you need to wash your cloths and prepare them before starting the dyeing process.

  • Rinse the cloth in clean water ans squeeze out the excess water from the fabric.
  • Now wear your dust mask and hand gloves.
  • Place about half a liter of water in a container and heat it to be warm
  • Add a teaspoon of Soda ash to the warm water and mix well
  • Soak the cloth piece in the soda ash solution for about 15 minutes.

Step 3: Prepare Urea Mix

Keep your Dust mask and Gloves on. We will prepare the urea mixed water for preparing the dyes. We will be using three small bowls, each can hold about 70 ml of liquid.

  • Take 200 ml of lukewarm water in a bowl
  • Add three teaspoons of urea to the water and mix well
  • Once the urea is completely dissolved, pour the urea water equally in to the small bowls.

Step 4: Make Dyes

  • Add a teaspoon of different colored powdered dyes, Fuchsia, Turquoise and Lemon Yellow to each bowl
  • Mix the dyes well with urea water using different spoons. There should not be any lumps of the powdered dyes in the water.
  • Transfer the mixed liquid dyes to three squeeze bottles

Step 5: Tie the Fabric to Be Dyed

  • With your gloves and mask on, remove the fabric from the soda ash solution
  • Squeeze out all liquid from the fabric
  • Here, I am using a 10 mm dia PVC pipe to tie the fabric around.
  • Approximately, hold the center of the fabric at one end of PVC pipe
  • Twist it around the PVC pipe as shown
  • Tie the fabric with the PVC pipe as you progress along the PVC pipe

The last picture shows the tied fabric around the PVC pipe, ready for dyeing.

Step 6: Apply Dyes to the Fabric

I have used the kitchen sink to apply the dyes as the drippings can be easily washed away.

  • Start applying dyes from the narrow end using the squeeze bottles.
  • First Fuchsia, then Lemon Yellow and followed with Turquoise.
  • Follow the series up to the end of fabric.

You can see that I have been left with so much of dyes in the squeeze bottles after dyeing the fabric.

Step 7: Let the Fabric Rest

  • Put the dyed fabric along with the PVC pipe in a plastic bag and tie the bottom end.
  • Keep it in a slanting position so that excess dye from the fabric can drip down into the bag.
  • Let the fabric rest inside the plastic bag overnight.

Step 8: Untie the Fabric

See the first picture. The excess dye has dripped from the fabric and collected at one end of the plastic bag. So, take care while removing the fabric from the bag. Do not let the dripped dye come in contact with the cloth.

  • Cut the thread from the bottom end of PVC pipe
  • Slowly take out the dyed fabric along with the PVC pipe
  • Cut all threads used to tie the fabric with PVC pipe and separate the fabric from the pipe.

Step 9: Wash the Excess Dye Out

The fabric may contain excess dyes which should be removed before using it.

  • Boil about half a liter of water in a container
  • Add about a teaspoon of Professional Textile detergent to the hot water
  • Soak the dyed cloth in hot water. This will remove all excess dye from the fabric.

Step 10: Rinse the Finished Fabric in Clean Water

  • Remove the fabric from hot water mixed with the Textile detergent
  • Rinse in water 2 to 3 times till the water runs clean
  • Hang your finished bandana in shade to dry.

See the finished bandana, it is so pretty...

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Rainbow Contest 2016

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    2 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Oooh! It turned out so bright and pretty! I love the idea of using the PVC pipe to wrap it around before dying. I read about using stones or beans and wrapping them in the fabric to make patterns. Cool new thing to try! Thanks for sharing!


    Reply 3 years ago

    thank you myrrhmaid...