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Become a Tie Dye Expert In Minutes!

Example+of+the+Ice+Box+tie+dye+pattern.
Example of the Ice Box tie dye pattern.

Example of the Ice Box tie dye pattern.

Example of the Ice Box tie dye pattern.

Jenny Shetler, Editor in Chief

When you think of tie dying you might just picture the traditional rainbow swirl pattern shirt, but there is so much more you can do! Here are FIVE different folding patterns you should try next time you feel like tie dying!

TIP: If you’re wanting good quality tie dye you have to soak your fabric in soda ash before even starting your folding. Soda ash is a strong chemical so use percaustion like gloves and goggles. And after tying off your folded shirts, let them dry out before applying dye this is what will give you beautiful vibrant colors!

 

1) V-Shaped

This one is super simple. Step one… fold your shirt in half (TIP: make sure your fabric is 100% cotton or else the colors won’t stick). Step two… draw a diagonal line with a washable marker from the shoulder stitch to the mid chest area of the shirt. Step three… pinch the fabric up where you drew the line. Step four… keep pinching the rest of the shirt lining them up with the line you made. Step five… take a bunch of rubber bands and strap the sucker in. And now your ready to start dying.

 

2) Chevron

To get a chevron pattern you follow all the steps for making the v-shaped pattern but with one additional step. After you fold your shirt in half the first time you’re going to fold it in half again. After you have folded it in half two times you can start drawing your line and scrunching up the shirt, and you’re on your way.

 

3) S-Shaped

Kind of like the V-Shaped pattern, we are going to draw a line, but this one isn’t going to be straight… you guessed it! It’s going to be “S-Shaped!” Step one… draw your s-shaped line anywhere you want and any direction. Step two… start scrunching your shirt along that line, making sure that with each ripple the line you drew lines up everytime. Step three… tie that baby off and get dying.

 

4) Triple Spiral

This might be a no brainer, but you can put more than just one swirl in your shirt, and it looks so cool. Step one… lay your shirt flat on a table and mark three dots where you want the center of each swirl to be. Step two… start swirling one of the swirls (TIP: if you did not know already a fork is the easiest tool to use for swirling up your shirts) but make sure to leave enough fabric for each of the swirls you have. You can make one swirl bigger than the other, the less fabric you swirl up the smaller the circle will appear in the end.

 

5) Ice Box

This one is the most technical, but it’s the coolest looking one in my opinion, especially when you use good color combinations. Step one… lay your shirt out flat and randomly start scrunching it up, don’t make it neat and lined up like suggested with the previous patterns listed, the randomness of this is what makes it look so cool in the end. Step two… place the scrunched up shirt on a rack in a plastic bin. With the other patterns I did not go into detail about the dye itself, just the folding, but with this pattern the dye you use is the most important part (TIP: With this pattern do not wait for the fabric to dry- start dying when the fabric is still wet with soda ash solution). Step three… take you most diluted colors (TIP: you can dilute any dye by just adding some water) and soak your scrunched up shirt  with those colors anyway you prefer. You don’t need to be technical because the scrunched up folds are going to put the colors in random places anyways. Step four… cover the entire shirt with ice. Yes ice. Make sure you see no fabric through the ice. Step five… take couple spoonfuls of straight dye powder and sprinkle it randomly over the ice. You can put a lot ot a little, you can also do one color or multiple colors, just be aware the dye is going to soak through the ice and mix with each other so make sure to use compatible colors. Step six… put a lid on the bin and let it soak overnight. You’ll LOVE this pattern.

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About the Writer
Jenny Shetler, Co-Editor in Chief
Jenny Shetler is a senior who has three jobs: babysitting, painter for Watson’s Signs in Wood, and a waitress at Cedar Ridge Retirement and Assisted Living. She loves drawing, painting, hiking, and traveling. Her favorite things to write about are DIY arts & crafts and panther life.
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