Due to the complexity of dyeing synthetics, you must use the stovetop method to maintain an almost boiling temperature for the duration of your dyeing (around 180 F°).
- Before dyeing, remove any visibile stains on the fabric. This will help achieve uniform color results when dyeing. Prewash item in warm, soapy water. This helps to remove any finishes that may interfere with dye absorption.
- Lay fabric out on a flat surface.
- Traditional Tie Dye: Pinch, pleat or fold fabric to make a design. Wrap rubber bands tightly around fabric at various points. The rubber bands act as a resist and create white spaces. The more rubber bands you use and the tighter they are wrapped, the more white space there will be.
- Other Designs:
- Sunburst: Pinch a section of the fabric or where you want the center of the circle to be. Pull it up toward you to make a tee-pee shape. Then pull up more of the fabric for a larger circle. Close one hand around the point of the tee-pee and tie it off with a rubber band; then add rubber bands down the length of it.
- Stripes: Fold shirt vertically or diagonally, like an accordion or fan, in 2” to 3” wide folds. Then wrap with rubber bands every 2” to 3” or as desired.
- Checks: Accordion pleat fabric in 2” to 3” wide folds. To achieve a sharp line, press folds with an iron. Then accordion pleat strip into a square. Wrap a rubber band loosely around square fabric in both directions.
- Spirals: Decide where to place the center of the spiral. Then position your fingers around the center point and slowly begin to twist fabric in a spiral direction. Loosely wrap rubber bands around fabric to hold spiral together.
- Now it is time to create your dyebath(s). One to three colors can be used. Each color gets its own dyebath.
- Cover work area around stove with plastic table cover or newspaper and have paper towels handy to protect against any possible spills.
- Fill a stainless steel pot with three gallons of hot water.
- Add 1 teaspoon of dish detergent to help promote level dyeing.
- As a general guideline, one bottle of Rit DyeMore will dye up to two pounds of dry fabric. If dyeing 100% polyester or trying to achieve a very bold color, double the dye quantity.
- Cover pot and heat water on stove top to just below boiling (or 180 F°).
- Wear rubber gloves to protect hands from getting stained and to insulate them when working with hot water.
- When water begins to simmer, add well-shaken dye and mix well.
- Wet fabric.
- If using more than one color:
- We recommend starting with the lightest color.
- It’s usually best to put adjacent primary colors (red, yellow, blue) or secondary colors (orange, green, purple) next to each other. In the areas where they run together, they will create a third, great-looking color.
- Immerse your wrapped fabric in the lightest color dyebath for 4 to 10 minutes up to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. If using multiple colors, immerse a section of the fabric in each color. Allow more time if dyeing 100% polyester. The longer the fabric is in the dye bath, the darker the color will be. Please note that fabric will look darker when wet and will dry lighter.
- Repeat until all colors are used.
- If you are looking to create a marbled effect, cut the rubber bands with a scissors and unwrap the fabric. Rinse it well in cool water. Squeeze out excess water. Then, wrap again. Immerse in the next darkest color.
- When desired color is achieved, remove wrapped fabric from the dyebath. Squeeze out excess dye.
- Rinse in warm water and then gradually cool water until rinse water begins to run clear.
- Carefully remove rubber bands with a scissors and unfold the fabric.
- Wash in warm water with a mild detergent, rinse and dry.