Tie-Dye Sweater Vest

August 19 2021

Need help dreaming of the perfect first-day-of-school look? Preppy sweater vest, meet tie-dye.


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  1. Prewash sweater vest in warm, soapy water. This helps to remove any finishes that may interfere with dye absorption. Leave damp.
  2. Lay sweater vest out flat and roughly fold back and forth to create a rough vertical pleat.  Secure with rubber bands down the length of pleated sweater vest, about 3-4″ apart.
  3. Set aside your bound sweater vest to prepare your squeeze bottles.
  4. Wearing rubber gloves, mix 2 Tablespoons of well-shaken liquid dye with two cups of hot tap water in the squirt bottle. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and shake well. For this project, we used Tan and Aquamarine in our All-Purpose Liquid Dyes.
  5. Place bound sweater vest on baking rack with a tray under it. This keeps the dye from puddling under the fabric.
  6. Squeeze dye onto shirt. Apply colors in sections created by rubber bands. Make sure not to overlap edges of colors to keep them separated.
  7. To help set the dye, we recommend using your microwave. Place the dyed sweater vest in the container that comes in the kit or simply plastic wrap and seal the edges. Place the wrapped fabric on a paper towel in the microwave and heat for 1 to 2 minutes. This will create a heat chamber that helps bond the dye with the fabric. Once the microwave is done, remove the shirt and open the plastic, letting it cool down.
  8. Before removing the rubber bands, we strongly recommend using Rit ColorStay Dye Fixative on the tee. It enhances the color, increases color retention and prevents dye from bleeding into white areas. Follow these instructions. If you are planning to apply the Fixative with a squirt bottle, mix 1/4 cup ColorStay Fixative with 2 cups of hot water and pour mixture into the squirt bottle.
  9. Carefully remove rubber bands with a scissors and unfold the sweater vest. Wash in warm water with a mild detergent, rinse and dry.
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