How to Tie Dye: Step-by-step Guide for the Best DIY Tie Dye Shirt

How to Tie Dye: Step-by-step Guide for the Best DIY Tie Dye Shirt - Huedee

How to Tie Dye: Step-by-step Guide for the Best DIY Tie Dye Shirt

Tie Dying a shirt is a wonderful, fun-filled craft with vibrant colors and unique patterns! Tie dye can be a thoroughly enjoyable group activity also – you can try it with friends in a party or with your family and kids on a lazy summer afternoon. Every step of transforming a simple, white tee into a colorful masterpiece is interesting – even minor mistakes becomes happy accidents! The ’’wow’’ moment happens when the finished tie dye shirt is spread out!

 Below are the steps to follow for a successful tie-dye experiment. We have also shared some tips and popular patterns to try!

Step 1: Select a Shirt Fit for Dying

The best fabric for dying is cotton, although a fifty- fifty cotton/polyester blend is also suitable. Natural fabrics, like cotton, rayon and silk, soak and retain dyes well. On the other hand, in a fully synthetic garment, the dye wears off easily. So, choose a plain, white, cotton tee and get going with the next steps.

Step 2: Select Dye Colors of Choice

Dye kits are easy-to-use and available in craft stores. They contain almost everything you’ll need for your tie dye craft project. The dyes are given in squeeze bottles, and the kit also includes rubber bands, robber gloves, etc. All you have to do is add warm water to the bottle for making the dye usable.

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Another option is buying dye packages and squeeze bottles separately, and mixing the dye powder, urea and soda ash at home.


  • Prevent the powders from entering your lungs by wearing a mask while mixing the colors.
  • First add dye powder and then pour water into squirt bottles.
  • Replace cap of bottle ASAP and shake well.
  • Apply dye mixture within 30 minutes of preparing for best results.

Step 3: Assemble Your Success Tools

If you’re not using a tie-dye kit, you’ll need the following things:

  • Fiber Dyes
  • Urea and soda ash
  • Large Ziploc plastic bags
  • Squirt bottles
  • Rubber bands
  • Rubber gloves
  • Water in spray bottle
  • A tub for soaking
  • Rags/paper napkins for spills
  • Wooden rod for twisting

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Step 4: Soaking the Shirt

Soaking the shirt in a mixture of warm water and soda ash will enable the dyes to bond better. The water temperature shouldn’t be too hot or too cold (it should as warm as the water for a baby’s bath!). Add some common salt to the mixture and dissolve everything properly before adding the shirt.

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After soaking for 10 minutes, wring out the shirt nicely. This enables more colors to seep in.

Step 5: Creating Patterns

After you’ve squeezed out all soaking solution from the shirt, place it on a flat surface with front side down. Now take the wooden rod and rubber bands and start creating patterns of your choice!

Pattern 1: Classic Spiral

Place the wooden rod right at the center of the tee and start rotating it clockwise or counter-clockwise, but only one of the two ways, until you achieve a flat pie shape. Using the other hand, ensure that the shirt doesn’t creep up the rod. Carefully remove the rod without pulling up the cloth at the center, as this will affect the dying process.

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After this, slip on the rubber bands gently, keeping the shirt as flat as possible. Turn over the shirt and put on some more bands.

Pattern 2: Bull’s-eye

Pinch the center of the shirt and add two rubber bands. Now pull garment to make a long tube and add rubber bands with 1 inch gap in between.

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Pattern 3: Horizontal and Vertical Stripes

To get vertical stripes, fold the garment in horizontal pleats. Conversely, to get horizontal stripes, fold in vertical pleats. Without disturbing the folds, add rubber bands spaced 1-2 inches apart.

Step 6: Spreading Dyes

To rainbow-dye the classic spiral shirt, imagine it to be an actual pie chart! If you’re using three colors, like turquoise, yellow and red, cover one-third of the shirt with each color. Here are some points to keep in mind:

  • Always wear gloves and old clothes
  • Before dying, cover the surface with plastic
  • Squeeze the dye on the fabric keeping the bottle low
  • Let the dye seep into the folds
  • Overlap colors at the edges to get new shades, like purple, green and orange
  • Turn the garment over and pour dyes on the other side too

Step 7: Waiting!

After the dying process, put the shirt in a Ziploc plastic and leave it for 24 hours minimum.

Step 8: Unwrapping Your Craftwork

Wearing your gloves, take off the rubber bands and rinse the shirt under cold tap water till the water looks clear. This will take a while as excess dye will bleed out profusely. After this, wash and dry your garment separately.

Congrats! You’ve created your first DIY tie dye shirt! Wear it and share your gorgeous photos with us!

Huedee: Luxury Organic Tie Dye Clothing

Tie dye is no longer just a fun craft project. It is one of the biggest high-fashion trends this year! Top labels, like Prabal Gurung and Prada, turned spring 2019 runways into a colorful dream with their exquisite tie-dye creations! Modern tie-dye is a combination of sophisticated colors, unique patterns and refined silhouettes.

We at Huedee love the distinctive and fun-filled nature of tie-dye! Our collection comprises of organic cotton clothing, so that you get high-quality comfort along and updated style! Our unique tie dye clothing is contemporary and hip, and uplifts your mood with a healthy dose of fresh hues!