Tie-Dying Clothing and Accesories

Tie-dying is a well-known technique use to create colorful designs and patterns on fabric. There are several methods and a variety of color combinations to try: from circular, sunburst patterns to stenciled word cutouts. Plus, this attractive outcome can be achieved by using affordable, everyday items.

Tie-dying is a fun and simple way to revive your old or plain fabric items, from towels to t-shirts, yielding a surprising result each time. You can experiment with all the different techniques to create a variety of styles and items, ensuring that you’ll always have a selection the public will love.

Start-up capital: P1,000 for 2 shirts. Time to finish: 30 minutes per shirt.

Materials Needed

  • Large pot or container (not galvanized and enough to hold all the items to be dyed without crowding), P200
  • Long-handled utensils (i.e. old spoon, BBQ tongs), P150
  • Rubber gloves
  • Large towel, P100
  • Cleaning items (i.e. cleaner, dish cloth. paper towels)
  • Items to be dyed (i.e. scarf, shirt, towel), at least 80% percent cotton or another natural fabric that can be dyed, P50 in Divisoria
  • Venus fabric dye, P4.50 per 2 gram packet
  • Rubber bands
  • Table salt
  • Old newspaper

Getting Started

For this project, we will be making a basic sunburst design on a t-shirt.

  1. First, wash the -shirt in order to remove any possible dirt and prepare it for dye absorption. Tie-dying is best done on damp fabric.
  2. Cover our work area with newspaper to protect it from any spills, and assemble all your tools.
  3. Wear rubber gloves to prepare the dye. Carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions provided on the package.
  4. Our particular fabric dye, Venus, for example, calls for the powder to be dissolved in boiling water to get the best, fastest results possible. So fill the large container with lukewarm water, bring to boil, and pour in the dye, starting with the lightest color if you are using more than one color.
  5. While the water is coming on a boil, lay the t-shirt flat on your work area. Grab the center of the t-shirt with your thumb and index finger, and lift it up. Run your other hand down the cloth, twisting the fabric as you gather it together tightly.
  6. Wrap one rubber band around the gathered t-shirt, right below the spot where you lifted. Then, wrap a few more rubber bands, about one to two inches apart from each other. Feel free to make up your own spacing.
  7. Once you’re satisfied with the rubber band placement, immerse the entire t-shirt in the first color dye. Boil the t-shirt for 10 minutes , stirring constantly. Then, stir 4 level tablespoons of salt into the mixture for each gallon of water used. Boil for another 20 minutes, stirring constantly.
  8. Remove the t-shirt and rinse in cold running water. Wring out the garment until water runs almost clear.
  9. For designs requiring more than one color, repeat steps 3 to 8, using colors in order from lightest to darkest.
  10. When you have finished dying the garment, remove rubber bands and lay t-shirt flat on your workspace. Place a towel over the still-damp garment, and iron it flat.

Be careful when washing the items. Most dyes usually recommend washing in cold water. They may bleed the first few times, so place them with like colors or alone.

How Much Will You Make

  • If you sell t-shirts that cost P85 on wholesale for a retail price of P350, you can profit over P500 just by selling a dozen shirts.

source: Katrina Tan, www.entrepreneur.com.ph

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