Reverse Tie-Dye Basics With Rit®

Now that you’ve perfected the art of tie-dye, it’s time to put it in reverse with the help of our color remover. See below on how to achieve this high-contrast look by starting with black cotton.

What is Reverse Tie-Dye?

Unlike traditional tie-dye, reverse tie-dye removes the color of your garment to reveal a unique, high-contrast pattern. Household bleach is a popular method used to achieve this look but leave it on for too long and it will begin to eat away at your fabric. That’s why our Color Remover is perfect for creating this look. Our Color Remover formula is a non-chlorine, reductive type of bleach that won’t damage or deteriorate washable fabrics as chlorine bleach does.

How to Use Color Remover

For best results, we recommend using the stovetop method to maintain an almost boiling temperature. 

Pick a Color

Once the color is removed, you’ll have to decide which color you want to add back in. We have many many colors to choose from. You can also use one of our thousand color formulas. If using our formulas, after you pick a color, select any item in the small category and cut the recipe in half.

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Supplies Needed

You don’t need much! You’ll need our Color Remover, a dye pot, dye container and our Tie-Dye Accessory Kit, which contains 3 perfectly-sized squeeze bottles, rubber bands, 2 pairs of protective gloves and a microwavable tray to speed up the dyeing process. You could also source each of these items separately. You’ll also need a baking rack so that the dye doesn’t puddle under the fabric when you apply it. For a complete list of supplies, check out our full reverse tie-dye tutorial here.

Tie Your Fabric

After pre-washing the fabric (to remove any finishes), it’s time to tie the fabric. You can do the classic swirl tie-dye look by pinching the center of the fabric and twisting it into a spiral, as demonstrated here. Or try the bullseye technique with one or two colors. Feel free to get creative.

Dip it into the Color Remover

Once your fabric is bound, it’s time to add it into the Color Remover dyebath! Decided which part of the fabric you’d like to remove the color from, and simply dip that portion into the Color Remover.

Add Color!

Once the color is removed from your garment, give it a good rinse while it's still bound and now it's time to add some color!

Prepare Your Squeeze Bottle(s)

The squeeze bottle method gives you the most control when applying the dye and is needed when dyeing with multiple colors. If you are using squeeze bottles from our Tie-Dye Accessory Kit, add 2 teaspoons of dye to the bottle and fill the rest with hot water. If you are using your own squeeze bottle, mix 2 cups of water with 2 tablespoons of dye and pour into your squeeze bottle.

It's Dye Time

You can apply multiple colors or stick to just one. There is no right or wrong here! Make sure to dye both sides. If you’re using just one color, you can simply make a dyebath container and dip in the portion where the color was removed.

Reduce Bleeding and Fading with ColorStay Dye Fixative

Use ColorStay Dye Fixative after dyeing to reduce bleeding and fading so you can enjoy your newly tie-dyed item for the long run! Apply it 30 minutes after you’ve dyed with a squeeze bottle.

Set the Dye with Your Microwave

No need to wait 24 hours for the reveal anymore. By microwaving your item for two minutes, you can set the dye so that it can be revealed in a matter of minutes. The heat from the microwave opens up the fibers in the fabric to absorb the dye, ensuring that you get long lasting and vibrant color. You can use the microwavable tray that comes in our Tie-Dye Accessory Kit or wrap the item in plastic wrap. If the item has any metal parts on it, then this cannot be done. Instead, leave the fabric out in the sun for a couple of hours or apply heat with a hair dryer.

Rinse and Reveal!

After the item has cooled down, rinse it for a good amount of time to get rid of any unabsorbed dye. This might be the most important step as it removes any unabsorbed dye that might come off in the wash. Once rinsed, undo the rubber bands and reveal your tie-dyed creation!

Find Us Now!

Find Us Now!

Rit products are available at most major retailers. Or, you can buy them online.

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