teen girl using Bright Crafts Tie Dye kits

For many children, deciding on which pattern to dye is half the fun. Children soak up inspiration from so many different sources, seeing someone in a tie dye shirt, a pattern in a book, a colourful painting, bright flowers, a day at the beach or a trip to the bush. All this inspiration helps them decide on the design they want to tie dye, it’s in the patterns they tie and the colours they choose to dye.

When you involve children in pre-washing their fabric before dyeing they can even get excited about the pre-wash process – it’s part of the anticipation of creating something themselves. Wouldn’t it be great if our children would get excited about doing washing at home too!

Over the years that I have been teaching Tie Dyeing, I’ve become fascinated by the different ways children and adults express themselves when tying their fabric. Those children who are methodical and precise enjoy the process of creating ridges and valleys in their fabric and try to get each one equal. They’ll probably choose more intricate patterns to tie up. In the chase for precision they may tie their pattern a few times until they are happy with the results. Where as our
socialisers are keen to get those folds done so they can move on to playing with the colourful dyes.

And the next fun part is… the dyeing!

For many first time tie dyers, putting the dye on their fabric is so much fun. They love seeing the way the colours soak into the fabric from the ridges to the valleys. They’re fascinated by the colours that result as the dyes blend together and they enjoy squeezing the dyeing into the valleys. It’s at this stage that our experimenters break loose and play. They try different colour combinations to create something unique and different, they dye one side and not the other to
see what happens! They have so much fun trying something new in a safe way.

Not everything about Tie Dyeing is fun. There is the waiting… waiting for 24 hours to let the dyes soak in and bond with the fibre seems to take forever. For most people this is the least fun part oftie dyeing, however it is super important to do! Think of it as a great opportunity to practice patience 🙂

Drum Roll… the next fun part is… unwrapping your Tie Dyes

If you are lucky enough to be present when people unwrap their tie dyes you’ll have heard the sounds of awe and amazement that is involuntarily released from open mouths as participants unwrap their tie dye for the first time. I love seeing the looks of amazement, those who have struggled to create art that is “acceptable” are particularly proud of their tie dyes.

Everyone who unwraps their tie dye whether it’s their first or 100th tie dye is excited that they have created something so beautiful all by themselves. Washing out your Tie Dye can be another bit of fun as it gives you an opportunity to see your Tie Dye design close up, to see the intricate patterns and colour blends that were created while it was soaking up the dyes overnight. If you have a front loading washing machine children can be entertained for a whole wash cycle watching their tie dyes go around and around.

And the grand ultimate fun part of tie dyeing is wearing your Tie Dye

and receiving so many positive comments from people when you tell them you made it yourself. If you’d like to experience the fun of Tie Dyeing with your children and make your own gifts check out our shop for a great range of tie dye kits and items to dye.