Tie-dye patterns - Video instructions
If you’ve been wondering where to get video instructions and tie-dye patterns then you’re at the right place. On this page you will find a compilation of techniques ranked by difficulty where you can compare different styles with ease. We are very proud to present you with this information and we hope that you have a good time exploring the world of tie-dye. If you’re new to the craft and don’t know where to start you can check out our handy quick-start guide.
These are the techniques we have filmed and have carefully recorded so we can share them with our friends who may have less experience with tie-dye. This is the best way to learn and share our experience. Once you have the supplies provided by a tie-dye kit, you are then ready to repeat the steps presented in the pattern and create exactly what you need. It’s building your own shirt.
Simply repeat the steps and you will have a very similar result each time, without fail. This is where the art meets the science and we encourage everyone to record their own creations and to showcase them to the whole world, for the good of every tie-dye artist, beginner or advanced. Tie-dye is all about sharing and patterns are the best way to do it. You might even find what tie-dye design is best for your style. All of these patterns come from a few families of techniques that, when understood, allow you to tweak the final result.
We are Samuel and Francis. About two years ago we bought our first tools and supplies for tie-dyeing. Ever since then we’ve been learning the skills of folding and dyeing in intricate ways. We’ve learned from our experiences on the field about what techniques works and what doesn’t. This is the site were we share everything we’ve learned.
There are many folding techniques that are very easy to do, even for beginners. These techniques let you take up tie-dyeing with a running start. Practice the basics and a step your game up to the intermediate techniques. Wether you do the technique once, or you repeat them ten times, there’s always more to learn and more fun to have. Be sure to try tie-dye with your friends, you’ll learn much quicker by sharing tips together. The more we help each other, the more fun it becomes, so invite your family and friends for a tie-dye party.
From all the folding techniques we found, these few easy techniques are the ones you can do fairly easily even if it’s your first time. Some of the most famous folds can be found here, such as the : spiral, crumple, pleat and spider. Please keep in mind that during all these examples, unless we say otherwise, the shirt is always in the same condition. We always prepare the shirt so that it is clean, has been soaked in warm water for at least 5 minutes and has been spun in the washing machine or wrung out by hand so that the blank doesn’t drip.
– Click on the shirt to play the instructions –
Rainbow Spiral with Accents
These intermediate techniques will solidify your understanding of the basic principles behind the craft of tie-dyeing. You will see more techniques and more ways to use your dyes and shirts. This is the time to really get deep into what we are trying to accomplish. At this point you probably have a few shirts under your belt and you are ready to tackle something bigger.
You are not limited by what you see presented here, you probably already have quite a few ideas of techniques you want to try. With these techniques you will open the doors of your imagination and you may start to have tie-dye patterns floating in your mind. Anything you can imagine you can create.
Earth and Sun
What are tie-dye patterns?
A pattern is the shape, size, appearance of a design. It’s also the steps required to make this creation. The result of a tie-dye process is a pattern. Patterns can be tie-dyed on any piece of fabric, usually shirts and tapestries. Shirts have a three dimensional component, unlike a bandana which is flat, but you can definitely make the same pattern even on a single piece of fabric. The appearance of the pattern is a qualitative assessment that is purely subjective. We will often name a patter based on what it resembles the most or what it makes us think about. The techniques behind the pattern are calculable and predictable. A shirt on which you see colors in the shape of a spiral is said to adorn a ”spiral” pattern.
Patterns often take the name of the closest resembling thing to what the actual pattern looks like, but not always. The process of tie-dyeing is to impart a pattern on a piece of fabric. The pattern is composed of and not limited to : colors; their use, dispersion, hue, colorfulness. Also the physical aspect, as in the shape or shapes, the repetition of colors, the main features, we call them patterns because they can be recorded and repeated with the exact same steps as the original pattern. We recommend everyone takes notes of every tie-dye creation. Video documentation is even better to preserve the history of tie-dye.
More information about patterns
This is only a very small percentage of all the patterns that exist for tie-dye. In fact, you could say that the number of possible patterns is infinite and that it can’t be possible to record them all. There’s also the question of chaos when it comes to calculating the effects of millions of small distinct fibers that compose the fabric.
We can simplify things a little bit by viewing the folding part of the tie-dyeing process as simply the deformation of the shirt. This shirt, which usually starts as a flat plane, will get disturbed and pulled and pushed in all directions, each small fiber interacting with its neighbors. The addition of all these interactions is a chaotic system which is very hard to predict. The way we simplify the process is by viewing the folded and tied shirt as a totality containing a series of folds, and it is these folds that we take into account.
These small folds are called “pleats”, with the majority of tie-dye patterns using varying sizes of pleats in their folding process. Pleats can be in all shapes or sizes and can vary in their dimensions, position, and more. Pleats will happen naturally by bunching up the fabric. Each time the shirt is folded, each time the fabric folds unto itself it makes a pleat.
The way you shape and position the pleats on the fabric makes all the difference. Where you start your folding and where you end it will impact the whole piece. Each small fold and pleat will alter the final result. You can fold to make creases and disturb the dye placement. You can also choose to leave the shirt flat, leaving a flat plane for the dye which will give you direct placement of the colors.
Additionally you can fold the fabric on itself to create mirroring effects. Tie-dye is a sport and the artists that play it are really good at managing the natural chaos and making clear shapes from the chaos. Tie-dye effectively operates in multiple dimensions at the same time. When you think of a canvas for painting you can imagine a flat surface, but with tie-dye, every pleat is adding relief and creases that exist in the third dimension relative to the starting point of the shirt.
Samuel and Francis
We are the sole owners of this site, we live in Canada where we work everyday on making tie-dye more accessible to everyone. We are always looking forward to teaching you something new.