Archive | Tie Dying

Tie Dyeing T-Shirts with my Children

We have been having great fun tie dyeing T-shirts and experimenting with dyes.  First we dyed with a solid colour using a pot with the boil and simmer method, then we decided to try a hand-painting method which I prefer.

This is what we did:

– We soaked our white t-shirts in a bucket of vinegar water, (a couple of litres of water and I added a cup of vinegar). I let that soak for about half an hour. The vinegar makes the dye take to the fabric like it does with yarn.


The shirts were placed flat on a counter top surface and marbles were held at the back of the shirts and pushed upwards, an elastic band was then placed around each marble. The elastics were very tight to keep out the colour and keep the whiteness of the fabric.

The dyes were mixed into rainbow colours, these are earth friendly dyes.

Then each colour was hand-painted or squeezed out onto each little bauble so that we would have circles of colour afterwards. This was so exciting, really, like digging up a potato plant and discovering plenty of delicious potatoes under the ground, like precious gifts!

Kye had SO much fun doing this!

Oh yes, don’t forget to put plenty of plastic down on your counter tops so that the dye doesn’t go anywhere it shouldn’t. I used bin bags and then just washed them afterwards.

Once all the colours had been added, I really wanted to put the shirts into our solar cooker outside in the sun but we had rain that day so each shirt was wrapped in plastic wrap, placed in a sieve over a pot of boiling water with the lid on to boil for 20 minutes, this seals the colour. I have separate pots, sieves and everything for my dyeing work.

Then I removed the pots from the stove, allowed the plastic wrap to cool and when the shirt was cooler, rinsed it in cool water to let any excess dye run out.

This was one of the most enjoyable crafting activities we have ever done:)

This is Jenna’s T-shirt.



Happy Monday and have a lovely week.

PS for everyone who very kindly offered to test knit my Camel pattern, a thread has been started over on my Mamma4earth Ravelry group where you can also read the test knit requirements and take part in the discussions.

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