Crafts, Fashion/Style

How to tie-dye step by step: easy instructions

how to tie-dye step by step

What is the easy way to tie-dye? Our guide tells you how to tie-dye step by step with easy instructions both adults and children can follow.

Find more craft guides, tips and advice
Find more fashion guides, tips and advice

It’s back: the popular tie-dye trend is hitting the high end and haute couture runways with a retro style that stands out. Already in the 70s, the freaky shirts and bags, pants and scarves with different colored splashes and individual patterns were totally in, and now they are here again. 

The refreshing tie-dye trend gives a summery atmosphere of lightheartedness, lightness, freedom and uniqueness. And not only that: By dyeing your clothes, you practically give a second life – a great upcycling project! We have tried it out and show you how you can easily give your clothes new radiance with our tie dye instructions. Bring a little color into your wardrobe now when you tie dye a shirt, tie dye clothing or even tie dye sheets and pillowcases!

Tie-dye: origin

The origins of tie-dye are linked to the origins of batik, which go back to the fourth century BC. At that time, fabrics were painted with liquid wax and then colored. The areas covered with wax were not colored and so the popular, colorful batik patterns were created. Artful pattern making has been practiced in many different countries, from Indonesia to Malaysia, India, China, and Sri Lanka. Modern batik styles are no longer created by painting with wax, but by tying off the fabric. We explain to you how you can transform your white shirt or item into a trendy boho style with our easy instructions for how to tie-dye step by step!

Do it yourself tie-dye: what you need

  • Textile color depending on your taste, also 2-3 different colors
  • White / light colored garment or jute bag
  • Hot water (the amount is stated on the package and depends on the amount of clothes to be dyed)
  • salt
  • Large bowl / bucket
  • Disposable gloves
  • Packaging tape
  • Tongs / large spoon for stirring
  • scissors

How to tie-dye step by step

how to tie-dye step by step

Step 1: prepare the garment

First you prepare your garment by gathering the fabric in the desired places and tying it with the parcel cord. The more string you use, the more parts of the shirt will remain in the original color after dyeing. Your taste is in demand here: If you want to conjure up a calmer pattern, you should tie fewer knots.

Step 2: Mix the color with hot water

Then you put your textile dye in a bowl and mix it (depending on the instructions) with hot water.

Step 3: add salt

Then you add normal table salt in your color (the amount is also given on the package insert). If you want to dye silk, vinegar is also added at this step.

Step 4: immerse the garment

In this step, you’ll dip your garment into your bowl of fabric dye as far as you want. If you want it to be two-tone, you can dip the other part in another bowl (it should be the same height as the other) with a different color or keep the part in the original color. You should move the fabric back and forth every now and then so that the color can be distributed well and evenly. You then leave it in the dye bath for up to 30 minutes.

Step 5: Take the garment out of the dye bath

After the 30 minutes, first check that your garment has absorbed the color (or colors) well. If you are satisfied with the intensity of the color, carefully take your item of clothing (with gloves) in your hands, first express the color over the bowl and then again in a prepared, old towel. If there is a sink nearby, put the shirt in and press it out.

Step 6: rinse the fabric

Then rinse your garment with clear water until it stays clear. Then carefully cut the cords and hang up your DIY batik work of art to dry – and your individual piece of clothing is ready, which is sure to be an eye-catcher!

Tie-dye with natural ingredients

Yes, that is also possible: Even with certain, natural ingredients, light-colored clothing can be dyed in bright colors. These include, for example:

  • Violet through blueberries: First put the blueberries in a saucepan and mash them. Then fill up with water and let the brew simmer (around 30 minutes). Then pour off the water and insert your garment (the dyeing process takes at least 6 hours). Finally, wash the textile through with vinegar water.
  • Mustard yellow with turmeric: Put turmeric powder in a saucepan with water and boil for 30 minutes so that the color can develop well. The more natural color – the more intense the color will be on your textile. Add the garment and let the dye soak in for at least 1 hour.
  • Salmon orange through avocado peels: Put the peels of an avocado in water and simmer for 30 minutes. Then pour off the water and add the textile to the brew. Turn the whole thing over for about a day and then wash it through with vinegar water.
  • Dark red with beetroot or red cabbage: cut the beetroot into slices and place in a saucepan with water. Bring the whole thing back to the boil for 30 minutes and add the textile. Simmer for several hours and leave on. Finally, wash the garment through with vinegar water.

Tips for your tie-dye style

  • Less is more: A tie-dye piece is so energetic due to its bright colors and wild patterns that it is best to choose plain clothes. How about a tie-dye shirt and simple blue jeans and white sneakers, for example? We think it’s a great summer look!
  • Don’t be afraid to try other things: pillowcases, blankets, bed linen, jute bags, dresses, silk, towels, etc. A DIY tie-dye item also makes a great individual gift idea.
  • This summer, the color combinations blue-white and yellow-white are particularly popular.
  • Always choose only one tie-dye that you want to wear. Anything else would be too much and make your outfit look garish.

Well, do you feel like designing your own batik piece? I hope you now understand how to tie-dye step by step, and will enjoy trying things out creatively.