Welcome to a new How-To series sharing fun ways to stay creative at home. First up: Learn how to tie dye with Kayla Beckmann Barnhart, a member of Teva’s social media team. Words and Photos by Kayla Beckmann Barnhart.
As a social media freelancer, I’m used to working from home. So when we were placed on a mandatory shelter-at-home notice in Denver, Colorado, my daily life didn’t have too much of a shift. However, with COVID-19, came an increased workload and I started to value and cherish the calm of the weekend even more.
Usually on weekends, my family and I enjoy going on hikes, snowboarding, hitting up the dog park, or just throwing out a blanket and reading at the park. Since those things aren’t an option right now, I needed some sort of activity that felt fun, lighthearted, and that made me feel hopeful for summer days ahead. Enter: tie dying!
Kayla wears the Hurricane XLT2 in Bright White.
Real talk: I’ve been spending too much time on TikTok lately and there’s a trend where people are bleach dying old sweatshirts and sweatpants. I had a bunch of plain white onesies for my daughter so figured I’d try my hand at jazzing them up. After watching approximately one YouTube video I was ready to dive in (I’m more of a do-er than a researcher).
While I’m definitely no professional at this, it’s a really fun creative outlet. The fun thing about tie dye is that you really never know exactly how the finished product is going to come out. For a self-diagnosed control freak like myself, it reminds me that sometimes beauty can come out of uncertain situations.
SUPPLIES & TOOLS
Cotton baby onesie, t-shirt, or any fabric of your choice
Rit® All-Purpose Liquid Dye (I used Coral and Taupe for this project)
Large pot or tub
Tie fabric and hold together with several rubber bands. The tighter you wrap, the more white space you will have. This method of tying comes out to circles.
1. Cover table. Gather supplies.
2. For best results, pre-wash onesie and socks, rinse, and leave wet. This will help to remove any finishes that may interfere with dye absorption.
3. Tie fabric and hold together with several rubber bands. The tighter you wrap, the more white space you will have. If you need inspo for Shibori (a term that encompasses many different techniques of resist-dyeing) patterns, this video is great.
4. To prepare dye bath: Fill a large pot with very hot tap water (140F). If the water is not hot enough, heat water in a cook pot or teapot. Shake the dye bottle before pouring. Add 1/4 cup of dye to water; stir well.
5. For best results, add 1/2 cup of salt to the dye bath if dyeing cotton, rayon or linen. This helps to intensify the color. Stir.
6. TIP: Test dye color by dipping a paper towel into the dyebath. If color is too light, add more dye. If the color is too dark, add more water.
“The fun thing about tie dye is that you really never know exactly how the finished product is going to come out.” Kayla wears her tie dye shirt with the Hurricane XLT2 in Bright White.
7. Place bundled fabric in the dye bath. For a high contrast pattern (more white areas), keep the bundle in the dye for about 5 minutes to keep the bound-up part dye-free. For more color and less white areas, let them set in the dye bath for 20 to 30 minutes.
8. When desired color is achieved, remove the fabric from the dyebath. Squeeze out excess dye. Do not remove rubber bands.
9. Transfer the fabric to sink or another container. Remove rubber bands, rinse fabric under cold running water until water begins to run clear. Machine or hand wash with mild detergent, rinse and dry.
10. Enjoy your new creations!
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