People from all walks of life, and of all ages, can now learn how to easily tie dye cloth and various clothing items as a creative hobby or pastime. This has been made all the more easier with the availability of online, written or dvd tie dye instruction materials.
The best kind of dyes to use when tie dyeing are fiber reactive dyes such as Procion MX Dyes. It’s best not to use the more commonly available Rit dyes as these aren’t as permanent and, will need to be allowed to ‘set’ and simmer in the fabric for 30 minutes for each separate color.
Procion fiber reactive dyes, however, only require that you to use them at room temperature (between 70 – 100 F) and need to ‘set’ by letting the piece of fabric or freshly dyed clothing to remain damp with the dye for around 24 hours (or longer depending on how strong you want your colors to be).
Tie Dye Instruction – Learning to Tie Dye
Learning how to tie dye is both quick and simple. There are basically 5 steps in any tie dyeing process, but remember to put on your safety equipment (goggles, rubber or latex gloves and, a good quality face mask) before you start using the sodium carbonate.
1. Prepare your natural fiber fabric (cellulosic fiber – no wools or protein based fiber apart from silk) by washing or soaking it in a sodium carbonate solution to prepare the material to take the dye colors.
2. Mix your Procion MX Dye powders with just a little water (to the amount recommended on the package’s instructions) to produce a dye concentrate for easier control/different effects and usage. You can, of course, make a regular dye solution with the full amount of water along with the correct amount of sodium carbonate if you’d prefer.
3. Implement which ever tie dye techniques you’d like to use following the tie dye instructions from your online, book or dvd/video source. Carefully tie your fabric or garment in the way required to achieve the effect you’re looking for using rubber bands, dental floss or other strong thin string.
4. Apply your chosen dye colors, store your article in an airtight container or ziploc style bag and, let the dye set for at least 24 hours
5. Wash out excess dye with cold water, and wash again twice more with a hot water wash cycle (using Synthrapol to keep the colors separate), followed each time with rinsing.
Following these basic tie dye instructions and experimenting with simple tie dye techniques will help you discover just how easy and fun tie dyeing can be.
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