BRIGHT TIE DYE ESSENTIALS

Tie dying is such a fun craft to do at home! Have you ever tried tie dying at home and it didn’t end up as bright as you had expected? Worry no more! Here are some of my essentials to create the brightest dyes possible!

1.   Natural Fiber Fabric

Make sure the item you are dying is made of a natural fiber material. The most common natural fibers are cotton, rayon and silk. I have definitely made the mistake of not looking at the type of fabric first and washing out a dye back to stark white.

​Natural fibers include anything that comes from a plant. Some common examples are cotton, linen, hemp, bamboo, ramie + wool. These fabrics have natural fiber molecules that the dyes can bind to. 

You can check what percentages of fabric are in your item on the tag. It should be near the top. Something with 100% natural fiber will give you the richest dye. If it has less than 20% of a non-natural fiber you should be good to use it but the dye will not be as rich. Any more than that and you may end up with a tie dye that bleeds or fades over time.  

2. Soda Ash  ​

Soda ash is essential to the chemistry behind tie dying. Soda ash is non-toxic and eco-friendly. It is commonly used as a water softener and is the base ingredient for baking soda! Because of this it is safe and easy to use, just make sure to wear a mask as inhaling any particles (even non-toxic ones) is not recommended.

Soda ash works as a mild alkali that opens the cellslose fibers in the natural fabric. This is why natural fabric is so important! The dye molecules are then able to go in and bind to the fiber molecules. The cellulose fibers close and the dye molecules are trapped inside. This is what will keep your tie dye looking fresh for years to come!

To Use:
To dye one item about the size of the shirt-
1. Add 1/4 Tbs Soda Ash to 2 Cups Warm Water to a bowl or cup
2. Stir until dissolved (water will turn cloudy)
3. Fold item and allow it to soak 5-10 minuets
**SUPER IMPORTANT: If you let the item sit longer than 10 min it may absorb too much Soda Ash and deter the dye.
4. Wring out item + you’re ready to dye!

To Dye Multiple Items-
If you are having a Tie Dye party and dying more than 2 shirts I recommend using a 5 gal bucket. 
1. Add 1/2 Cup Soda Ash per Gallon Warm Water
2. Stir until dissolved (water will turn cloudy)
3. Fold item and allow it to soak 5-10 minuets
**SUPER IMPORTANT: If you let the item sit longer than 10 min it may absorb too much Soda Ash and deter the dye.
4. Wring out items + you’re ready to dye!

BUY IT HERE from my fav company Dharma Trading Co., or HERE for Amazon!

Tulip One Step Tie Dye Kit’s come pre-loaded with Soda Ash in the dye, so this is also a great product to use! Buy it on Amazon HERE

3.  Fiber Reactive Dyes

Procion dyes are essential to dying. Getting good procion dyes is also key. I have tried several brands of procion dyes and the best are from Dharma Trading Co. and Tulip. These procion dyes will create the bright + everlasting colors you see on professional dyes.  

Procion dyes won’t fade after several washings in hot water. They are also safe for infants as well those with sensitive skin because they don’t come off. These dyes come in powder form and mix easily in water. They are also eco-friendly and non-toxic making them a safe and easy choice. Dharma Trading Co. has a huge range of brilliant colors​ all imported from India. 

I love working with procion dyes for so many reasons. They are easy as well as economical to use. You can create a wide gradient depending on water ratio. I always recomend the ones from Dharma Trading Co. or the Tulip Tie Dye Kits!  

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