Rainbow Stripe Tie-Dye

January 25 2021

Now that you’ve mastered the perfect swirl and scrunch, it’s time to take your tie-dye game to the next level with simple pleating techniques. Follow our instructions below to create a look that’s just as one-of-a-kind as you are.


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  1. Prewash sweatshirt in warm, soapy water. This helps to remove any finishes that may interfere with dye absorption.
  2. Lay fabric out on a flat surface.
  3. Carefully pleat and fold sweatshirt back and forth on a diagonal. Continue until entire sweatshirt is pleated and secure with rubber bands.
  4. Wearing rubber gloves, mix 2 tablespoons of well-shaken liquid dye with two cups of hot tap water. Add 1 tablespoon of salt. Pour into a squirt bottle. Shake well.
  5. Repeat the same process laid out in step 4 for desired colors.
  6. Place bound sweatshirt on a baking rack with a tray under it. This keeps the dye from puddling under the fabric.
  7. Squeeze dye onto fabric in 4″ sections starting with Tangerine, Golden Yellow, Kelly Green, Aquamarine and then Purple. Flip over and repeat.
  8. To set the dye, do the following while the fabric is still tied up:
    1. Apply Rit ColorStay Dye Fixative with a squeeze bottle, which will enhance the colors and reduce bleeding. Mix 2 tablespoons of well-shaken ColorStay Dye Fixative with water and apply liberally to both sides of the fabric.
    2. We strongly recommend using your microwave, as long as the fabric does not have any metal parts on it. After applying ColorStay Dye Fixative, wrap the fabric in plastic wrap and seal the edges. Place the wrapped fabric on a paper towel in the microwave and heat for 2 minutes. Plastic will puff up, creating a heat chamber that helps bond the dye with the fabric. Once the microwave is done, remove the fabric and open the plastic, letting it cool down.
    3. If a microwave is not available or feasible to use and it is a hot sunny day, lay the wrapped fabric out in the sun for an hour.
  9. Rinse in cold water until rinse water begins to run clear. This is very important to prevent unabsorbed dye from bleeding into any white areas. If possible, rinse with the fabric bundle sitting flat on the baking rack. If it is held vertically, some of the unabsorbed dye could run into white areas as it is rinsed off.
  10. Carefully remove rubber bands with a scissors and unfold the fabric.
  11. Wash in cold water with a mild detergent, rinse and dry.
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