How to tie-dye twice

How to tie-dye twice

Can you actually tie-dye twice? You may have been wondering if it’s possible to tie-dye the same shirt more than one time. Maybe you are curious about making a pattern and covering part of it with another pattern or maybe you are thinking about doing a magnificent and complicated technique that would require multiple folding and dyeing sessions. Luckily we have asked ourselves this question before and we have developed a way to reliably tie-dye more than one time on the same shirt.

The simple answer is yes! You can absolutely do the tie-dye process to a shirt multiple times. In fact, it is a great way to make amazingly original patterns. We are gonna show you exactly how to tie-dye twice, and we will explain the technique. We really recommend that you try it because it is a powerful way to make your shirt pop out and be highly rated. You will find that there are many ways to use this technique.

How to tie-dye multiple times

If you are already familiar with the normal process of tie-dyeing, you will have no problem learning this procedure. You can dye a shirt any number of times and the important thing to know is how to do the process correctly in order to avoid problems. We rigorously tested and found out the method that works the best.

The easiest way to tie-dye a single object multiple times is to first plan out what you want to do with the design. Let’s say you want to do a spiral on a shirt and then you want to tie-dye a second spiral afterwards. You will first do a complete tie-dye to the shirt. Like normal, you will fold the shirt the way you want to, let’s say a spiral in this case. You also will dye the shirt in the same manner as you normally do. The biggest difference is to make sure that you properly set and rinse the dye before attempting the second tie-dye process.

In fact, we like to rinse the shirt more than usual after the first tie-dye. We make sure that there is no remaining dye that could come loose later. Once the shirt is all nice and clean, all you need to do is to return to the first step of the tie-dye process. To make it easy you can start straight back to the step of soaking the shirt in warm water to prepare it. After the shirt has soaked for 5 minutes and you see that it does not stain the water too much, you are ready for the second tie-dye process.

You can easily fold a tie-dye shirt exactly like you can do with a regular shirt. The only difference you will see is that the blank is not all white and it is in fact colored and this can be distracting at first. Do not let this confuse you, keep your training in mind and execute the folding technique with calm and confidence.

Can you dye new color over the old dye?

You may have been wondering if it’s possible to dye the same spot multiple times. This technique is called overdye and while you absolutely can do it, there a special considerations that you may want to know before doing it. A very important thing to note is that dye doesn’t act like paint. You can put dye on each other but they will not be on top of one another. The dye will always mix to create a combination of the colors.

Dyes work by adding color to the old color. Be mindful of your colors, especially complementary colors that could make or break your color scheme. The dyes colors are mixing together to create a new combination. With this in mind you can imagine that you need to be careful when you are mixing multiple colors near each other because with the tendency of the dye to spread there is a good chance to make muddled colors.

Can you dye over black?

The simple answer here is that you cannot dye over black. Since black is the darkest color, any color you add to it will only result in black. There are however some alternatives techniques that will help you change the color from black to almost anything you want. The way to do this is to first remove the black dye where you need a different color.

There are few ways to remove dye from fibers. The main idea is to use a chemical reaction to destroy most of the dye. The most common product you can use to remove color is bleach. While bleach works, it definitely is not the best option available. There are commercial products that work way better and are gentler on the fibers.

After you use a color removing product you will be left with an area on the shirt that is almost white. It can be almost impossible to remove all the dye without destroying the shirt. The best products can still remove a lot of black and leave you with clear patches of slightly colored white.

What patterns can you make when tie-dyeing twice?

Some of the most famous patterns that use this method are the criss-cross and the spirograph. Both of these patterns are from the spiral family and both are made by first tie-dyeing a spiral and then making a second spiral, only this time the spiral is rotating in the inverse direction. These techniques have the ability to make very interesting results and definitely need to be tried. There are very few of these patterns existing at the moment, maybe you are the artist who will make them popular.

You can also use this technique to isolate particular areas of the piece that you want to work more precisely on. Let’s say you dye a great beautiful background on a tapestry and you leave a white empty space in the middle where you will make a very intricate patter. Sometimes you may want to dye in two steps for a number of reasons. It doesn’t take too much effort and is a great trick to know.

More information

We have learned that tie-dyeing multiple times is totally real and can be used for great results. You should definitely give it and try and tell us how it went. You can dye twice, three times or even more. Always be very careful to let the dye set correctly and to rinse the shirt carefully. What we found is that each successive time we dye a shirt, the empty areas get less and less white. This effect can be seen on the spirograph photo where you can see that the white areas are now slightly gray.

About us

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.

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.