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Tie Dye
Arts & Crafts : Batik and Tie Dye: The Art of Fabric Dyeing

Explore Batik and Tie Dye: The Art of Fabric Dyeing

Tie Dye T-ShirtEven though the 1960s are history, the art of tie dyeing clothes is ever-present and here to stay! This section on the Creativity Portal explores the art of fabric dyeing in both tie-dye and batik methods. What's the difference between the two? Batik is a more involved method of dyeing fabric using removable wax on the parts of the fabric you don't want dyed, whereas tie dye (also noted as tie-dye & tiedye) is a method of dyeing fabric after knotting or rubber banding it to produce interesting and irregular patterns.

Explore the process of both batik and tie dye and how to make imaginative patterns and designs from the following information and recommended Websources.

How-to Batik and Tie Dye Websources

Batik of Indonesia
Learn about the origins of batik, a fabric decorating process and art of textile of Central Java and other places in Indonesia.

Dharma Trading Co's Information for How To Tie Dye
Important how-to information for the best method for tie dye. Includes dyeing variations and helpful hints, and a quick explanation of the chemical process involved in tie dye.

Easy Tie Dye from Kinderart
Simple instructions and photos for kids and adults to rubber banding and tie dying tee shirts. Plus links to pattern decorations and dyeing eggs.

G & S Dye Instructional Sheets
Informative instructional PDF sheets to download from G&S Dye. Includes dyeing, screen printing, microwave scarf painting, batik, direct application tie dye, acid dyes, and pigment paints.

How to Tie and Dye T-Shirts
"Tie-dye is a technique in which certain areas of fabric are bound or tied so as to resist color when the material is immersed in a dyebath. While the craft has been practiced in nearly every part of the world for hundreds of years, it probably began in ancient Asia and spread to Africa."
A discussion forum for tie-dyers or aspiring tie-dyers that includes step-by-step instructions and helpful hints. Friendly and knowledgeable members are willing to answer questions you may post.

Paula Burch's Batik & Tie Dye
Instructions and examples for all sorts of fabric dyeing. Includes tie dyeing, batik, fabric painting, low water immersion, dip dyeing, and lots of other related information.

Story of Batik
A site devoted to everything batik! Learn about the fascinating history of this textile art, types and styles of batik, and uses of batik today.

Indulge Your Inner Hippie and Learn to Tie Dye

By Chris Robertson

Even if you're not a child of the 60s, you've probably had the pleasure of owning and wearing tie dye clothing. If you've ever been to an event with a craft fair, chances are that you've noticed those eye-catching booths full of colorful tie-dye clothing and home decor. You may even have marveled at how they manage to incorporate those intricate, vibrant designs onto a plain cotton T-shirt.

While intricate tie dying is truly an art, you and your family can have loads of fun at home making your own tie dye (or tye dye) creations. Hands down, the best way to learn how to tie-dye is through instructions demonstrated on a video or DVD. Seeing how it's done, as opposed to reading about it, makes all the difference in the world. Still, tie dye is a process of trial and error, so why not give it a whirl (or a swirl)?

It's All About the Fabric

When it comes to tie dye, the right fabric is critical. Natural fibers — like cotton or linen, pick up the dye well. If you stick with 100 percent cotton, you can't go wrong. To start with, why not pick up some inexpensive T-shirts at your local mass merchandiser? Get one for each family member, and make it a party! Remember, though, that you need to wash and dry the new garments before you start your tie dying party. Unwashed new fabric won't pick up the dye very well.

The Secret of Dyes

Actually, the dyes you use to tie-dye aren't a big secret. For cotton, you need to use a dye that will react well to the fabric, namely Procion MX, dissolved in a urea solution. You can make virtually every color imaginable with just three colors: yellow, turquoise, and fuchsia. But, before you start dying, you need to soak your fabric in soda ash. Tie dye artisans use a few other chemicals as well, which you can learn about on an instructional DVD or video.

The Fun Part: Patterns

Tie-dye is all about colors and patterns. Learning how to make swirls, crinkles, stripes, wavy lines, hearts, clovers, and - yes - even peace signs is a great way to engage the creativity of everyone in the family. You can learn to tye knots; twist fabric into pancake shapes secured by rubber bands; roll a shirts to form tubes, which you then tie; and pleat the fabric to make symmetrical patterns.

Applying the Dye

There are at least six different techniques you can use to apply the dye to your fabric, from dipping and soaking to using squeeze bottles and spray bottles. Again, someone with years of experience can best teach you how to apply dyes to get the results you want.

Making it Stick

After tie dying your shirts or decor, it's important to follow the steps necessary to make sure the dye reacts with the fiber. Then you need to repeatedly wash the fabric in a special solution so that the dyes don't inadvertently mix and so the garments remain colorfast.

Ultimately, though, tie dye is all about having fun. It can be a family adventure, a fun way to spend a weekend afternoon with friends, or a way to indulge the creative hippie within you. A great instructional DVD or video will help you learn to tie dye, and send you well on your way to creating gorgeous, vibrant designs. •

Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing companies on the web.

Updated 12/17/13