Want to get your hands dirty and relive summer camp with some tie dye this summer? You absolutely should, and it's surprisingly easy.
Fiber Reactive Dye
The bright colors you may associate with tie dye are known as fiber reactive procion dyes. They come in just about every color, and our favorite source for them is Dharma Trading. They're also available from Jacquard at your local art store, or on Amazon. Fiber reactive dyes come in powder form, and you mix them up into a liquid at home.
Great, now that you have your dye, you'll need some plastic squeeze bottles, the same kind you'd use for condiments at a diner. You'll mix up your dye directly in these bottles and use them to apply the correct amount of dye to your fabric.
You'll add urea to your fiber reactive dye mix (along with water). While you're dyeing, the urea helps keep your fabric damp so the colors you add are more vibrant.
A good rule of thumb is to use 100% cotton items when dyeing, but they can be surprisingly hard to find. I love white cotton napkins and Target's flour sack tea towels. Dharma has a huge selection of dyeables too!
Soda ash goes in your water soak bucket that you use to soak fabric and get it wet before dying. The soda ash helps the fabric soak up the dye better.
Do yourself a favor and get a couple $2 5 gallon pails at Lowe's. You'll use them for everything!
I'm not going to lie, some dishwashing or latex gloves are really great and keep you from having seriously dyed hands for days.
And honestly, that's all! For a good how-to, check out Dharma Trading's site.
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