Bright Crafts Navy and white Tie Dye T-Shirt

Tie Dyeing your old clothes to give them new life is the perfect answer to combining creativity and
Here are 12 tips that can make dyeing your old clothes more successful for you.

  1. When buying clothes read the clothing label.
    If you buy clothing made from plant based eg cotton, rayon, bamboo, hemp you’ll find they are easy to dye at room temperatures with Bright Crafts
    fibre reactive dyes.
    Animal fibres eg wool, silk need acid based dyes with the steaming method.
    Synthetic fibres eg nylon, polyester need special dyes with boiling.
    If your fabric is a poly-cotton mix with 80% cotton it will dye beautifully with Bright Crafts fibre reactive dyes.
    If you clothes are 50% poly-cotton the cotton will dye and the polyester will leave undyed white specks all over your clothes.
    Cotton rich clothing may contain as little as 35% cotton and won’t dye well
  2. Choose plant fibre fabric.
    To create the beautiful colours and patterns you see in Tie Dyes and Japanese Shibori you need to use plant based
    fibres eg cotton, rayon, bamboo, hemp, linen, viscose.
  3. Check your clothing for stain
    Most stains can be removed if they’re treated straight away.
    If you want to dye your old clothes remember oil stains wont absorb any dyes.
    dirt stains can be hidden with darker coloured dyes.
    blood stains may come out by soaking in kitchen salt and cold water.
    any paint splatters wont absorb dye either, but these can add an interested effect to your clothing
  4. Gather together all the clothes with plant-based fibres you’re going to up-cycle and wash them in warm water in the washing machine with clothes detergent.
    This warm wash may remove some of the stains.
    Wash any delicate clothes by hand in warm water instead.
    DON’T add fabric softener as this stops the dye penetrating the fibres.
  5. While your clothes are in the wash let your imagination loose, dream up designs you’d like to create.
  6. When you’re thinking of your design remember to work with your fabric.Thin fabric eg rayon can be enriched with beautiful detailed pattens.
    Thick fabric like denim is harder to fold so bold designs may work best.
    Any screen printed areas won’t dye so the design will show itself.
  7. Your designs can include traditional folds, modern patterns or a combination for patternsYou can even have different patterns in different parts of your clothes eg. on your t-shirt you can combine stripes and spirals.
    You can use found items like pebbles, bottle tops or lego to create resist patterns.
  8. Find a clean flat surface to tie up your designs. You can reuse old boxes, unfold them and lay them out flat, they make the perfect surface for
    tying and dyeing.
  9. Remember your fold creates your designThe thinner and tighter the pattern is folded the harder it is for dye to get into the fabric the more
    detail can be shown.
    Loose folds let more dye through the pattern and may show less definitio
  10. For the best results use Bright Crafts Tie Dye kits. We’ve sourced professional fibre reactive textile dyes and created an easy to use kit that gives you long lasting bright colours that don’t fade or leak in the wash
  11. You do need to use dye fixer (pure soda ash) to make sure your dye permanently bonds with your fabric, we always include this in our kits
  12. Think about the original colour of your fabric:
  13. Dark colours eg black, navy, deep purple won’t show any dyeing you unless they’re very faded.
    You can boost or refresh their original colours or chose an complimentary colour to over-dyeThe base colour of your fabric will tint any colours dyed over the top.
    eg: a yellow t-shirt dyed with turquoise will have a green hue.
    eg: a yellow t-shirt dyed with magenta will have an orange hue
  14. Letting the original colour of your fabric peak through can add interest to your design.You can do this by leaving some areas undyed eg dye one side but not the other

    By Up-cycling and making Art instead of war on waste clothing you’ll create treasured memories
    and one of a kind clothing that no-one else has.