Preparing for Tie – Dye @ Howell Library

(Will take about 30 to 40 minutes)

You may bring 1 or 2 white (100% cotton is best) shirts (or article of clothing).  Used or pre-worn is fine.  (We will only have enough dye for each participant to dye 2 shirts or items – please do not ask to dye any additional.)  (A pair of socks = 1 item) We will be ‘squirt’/multi-color dying both shirts and you will bring them home the same day.

What to Expect on Tie – Dye Day

You can either ‘tie’ your shirts at home (see below for YouTube instructional videos) or you can ‘tie’ them here at the library (we can provide the instruction!)

We will first be soaking the tied shirts in Soda Ash solution for about 20 minutes to prepare the fabric for the dye.  During this 20 minute period board games will be available or you can enjoy the library.

Once the shirts are ready to be dyed, we will give you gloves to use and further instructions.  Once you are done, you will bring your shirts home in plastic bags.

Bringing Home your Tie-Dyed Shirts

We are using Fiber Reactive Dye for great results.  Be sure to follow the steps below when you bring your shirts home!

What to do when you bring your tie-dyed items home.

  1. Let your shirts stay in their plastic bags untouched for at least 12 hours, (24 hours is even better!).
  2. Wear gloves and rinse (each shirt separately) under COLD running water, remove or cut the rubber bands, then continue rinsing until water runs fairly clear.
  3. Wash in very HOT water, using regular detergent.  Repeat wash if necessary.  Rinse twice.  This removes any excess unattached dye.  Dry your shirt in the dryer or hang up to dry.  It never hurts to wash your shirt separately for the first few wearings. After that you can wash them with anything.

Helpful Hint: With this dye, there is always lots of “excess dye” to be washed out.  Don’t crowd your washing machine with too much tie-dye or the water gets too muddy and so will your tie-dyes. A key to clear, brilliant tie-dyes is the rinse and washout procedure – don’t skimp!

All done!  Enjoy your shirts!