Home > Kids' Crafts > Tie Dying

Tie Dying

By: Natasha Reed - Updated: 27 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Tie Dying Crafts Fabric 1960s Children

Tie dying is exactly what it says - you tie a piece of fabric then dye it! This is a real throwback to the groovy era of the 1960s but it dates back much further in to history! It is a good way to teach children about dyes and fabric. The traditional 'spiral' pattern is the most common and good fun, shown here, but once the principles of tie dying are mastered then you can experiment with other methods. The fun part is to see what comes out because it is all trial and error -sometimes the unexpected results are the best!

What You Need
  • Plain material - T-shirts are ideal, however silk or cotton can be used
  • Elastic bands or string
  • Dyes appropriate to the fabric you are using
  • Rubber gloves
  • Plastic sheet & apron
  • Brush
It is best to do this activity outside to give children more freedom to experiment, as the dyes splash everywhere the focus of the activity should be on fun, not worrying about what might be damaged.

Step 1
moisten fabric Moisten the fabric with clean water. Wring it out so it is not too wet.

Step 2
twisting fabric The most common way is to grab a piece of material where you want the centre of the spiral to be. Twist the fabric round and round, then put several rubber bands around the fabric. Make sure the bands are spaced along the fabric and very tight. You can make as many or few spirals as you wish. Where the material is tied the dye won't reach, so it will remain the original colour, or be a lighter colour.

20px break

Step 3
adding dye Wearing rubber gloves now apply the dye to the fabric. You can dilute the dyes if they are water based or apply neat for a stronger colour. Because the fabric is moist the dyes will blend into each other.

20px break

Step 4
drying t shirts You can remove the elastic bands and hang it out to dry or leave the fabric to dry with the bands on. If your fabric is dripping it may be best to leave to dry with the bands on so the dyes don't run together. Opening the fabric is the fun part to see what patterns have been made. Some dyes require to be 'fixed' by ironing so remember to read the instructions on the packet or your next whole washing load will come out in the same colours!

20px breakTip - remember you don't need to go out and buy a new T-shirt to do this project. An old faded T-shirt can be used. Also it doesn't have to be white, a light colour will take dye just as well but the colours might not be as vibrant. For example on a light pink T-shirt you would need to apply a strong red dye for the effect to show.

You can achieve dyed circles by using marbles. Place the marble in the fabric and gather the fabric underneath, then wrap an elastic band around it.

Warning
  • Always supervise children with dyes.
  • Always read the instructions on the dyes.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • CraftExpert
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    Trisha - Your Question:Yes it is a lacy bobble effect, but I have solved the problem by going to my wool shop for advice. The…
    11 May 2018
  • Trisha
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    Yes it is a lacy bobble effect, but I have solved the problem by going to my wool shop for advice. The pattern was using an…
    9 May 2018
  • CraftExpert
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    Trisha - Your Question:I am knitting a cardigan for my new great granddaughter and am just trying to decipher the pattern…
    9 May 2018
  • Trisha
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    I am knitting a cardigan for my new great granddaughter and am just trying to decipher the pattern meaning of : using C,p2…
    8 May 2018
  • CraftExpert
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    Gram - Your Question:I do not understand the following instructions in a knitting pattern: for starting a neckline shaping -…
    1 May 2018
  • Gram
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    I do not understand the following instructions in a knitting pattern: for starting a neckline shaping - work 79 stitches…
    30 April 2018
  • CraftExpert
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    Confused - Your Question:I am knitting a dress for my granddaughter and the pattern for yoke says. Cast on 30 sts at…
    27 April 2018
  • Confused
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    I am knitting a dress for my granddaughter and the pattern for yoke says. Cast on 30 sts at beginning of next 2 rows = 115…
    24 April 2018
  • CraftExpert
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    Lucy - Your Question:My pattern says work 36 rows in st st and at the same time inc 1 st each end of rows 3, 11, and 19 -…
    16 April 2018
  • Lucy
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    My pattern says work 36 rows in st st and at the same time inc 1 st each end of rows 3, 11, and 19 - 39 Does this mean do…
    13 April 2018