How To Tie-dye – Easy Patterns For Beginners

Learning how to properly tie-dye a shirt is an essential skill for any DIY enthusiast. It’s one of the most popular craft activity right now and for good reason.

If you don’t already tie-dye you’re missing out. After all, it’s pretty easy, relatively inexpensive and a lot of fun.

How to tie-dye quick guide

  1. Wet, then wring out a cotton shirt
  2. Fold and tie the shirt
  3. Prepare your colors
  4. Apply dye on the fabric
  5. Let the dye react for 8 hours
  6. Rinse out the shirt
  7. Wash your new tie-dye shirt

Before you grab your dye bottles and pour the first drop, it’s important to know how to proceed. We asked the opinion of our tie-dye experts, here are their best tips and tricks to get you started.

Complete tie-dye guide step-by-step

We’ve had a quick overview of the process. Now let’s dive into the details.

1. Plan your project

Start by thinking about how you want your finished product to look like. You probably already have an idea of what a tie-dye shirt can be.

Remember, you are not limited to the typical tie-dye look. If you can imagine it, you can tie-dye it.

Check our list of 100+ tie-dye patterns to get inspired and make sure your project is a success. You can choose any technique that suits your needs.

2. Pick out your tools and supplies

What you need for tie-dye is a blank cotton shirt, fabric dyes, dye fixer, and a squeeze bottle. You can get all you need with a tie-dye kit. You can also buy these items separately.

  • Cotton Shirt
  • Fabric Dyes
  • Dye Fixer
  • Squeeze Bottles
  • Cookie Sheet + Wire Rack

You can actually dye any garment (sweatshirt, hoodie, joggers, socks) as long as it’s made of cotton or other natural fiber. Get all these must-haves on our dedicated tie-dye supplies page.

3. Set up your work area

If you will tie-dye inside you can easily protect your table. You can even dye in the sink or bathtub if you need to.

Lay a plastic tablecloth on your kitchen table or dye the shirt over a receptacle like a cookie sheet or an aluminum tray.

Keep some paper towels or rags handy to clean up any accidental spill. Gather all your tools and supplies, we’ll get right into it.

4. Wet, then wring out the shirt

A slightly damp shirt is easier to fold. The added weight of the water let’s the fabric keep it’s shape while you manipulate it.

A shirt fresh out of the washer has the perfect amount of water. You can achieve a similar result by wetting and then wringing the shirt out by hand.

5. Fold and tie the shirt

There are so many ways to fold your shirt. Tie-dye folding techniques range from easy to advanced. You can fold, scrunch, pleat, twist, and tie your garment however you like. These are the techniques we will show you in this guide:

  1. Spiral
  2. Stripes
  3. Bullseye
  4. Rings
  5. Squares
  6. Triangles
  7. Mandala

They all have clear and simple instructions with pictures. Experiment with a few of them to see which ones are your favorites. Follow your instinct and you’ll do just fine.

6. Prepare your dye colors

The first step is figuring out what colors you’d like to use. Do you want a warm or a cool shade? Pastel or strong colors?

Put some dyes in a bottle, add some water and dye activator, and shake well. It’s as simple as that.

You can mix and match different dye colors together in a bottle and create your own color blends.

Simple tie-dye liquid recipe

  1. Add one teaspoon of dye powder to a squeeze bottle
  2. Fill up the bottle until 3/4 full (leave some space for shaking)
  3. Add one teaspoon of dye activator
  4. Shake the bottle well, mixing the powder evenly
  5. Use lukewarm water for easier mixing
  6. Shake for 30 seconds to a minute until the powder is dissolved

Color intensity (imperial)

Powerful2 tsp1 tsp1 cup
Strong1 tsp1 tsp1 cup
Medium1/2 tsp1 tsp1 cup
Light1/4 tsp1 tsp1 cup
Soft1/8 tsp1 tsp1 cup
Pastel1/16 tsp1 tsp1 cup

Color intensity (metric)

Powerful16 g8 g250 ml
Strong8 g8 g250 ml
Medium4 g8 g250 ml
Light2 g8 g250 ml
Soft1 g8 g250 ml
Pastel0.5 g8 g250 ml

The more dye in the bottle, the stronger the color will be on the fabric. Keep in mind that once the dyes are mixed they will have a limited lifespan.

Dye solutions are best used within a few hours. They will go bad after 24 hours.

Consider adjusting the intensity of the colors to suit your needs. You can achieve pastel colors by diluting your mix with more water. If you want bolder colors you can easily add more dye to the mixture.

7. Squirt some dye on the fabric

You can use as many colors as you want and place them wherever you feel like. There’s no right or wrong way to go about it.

Using your squeeze bottle, splash dye directly on the shirt. Colors in close proximity will blend and mix.

Do you want your tie-dye to have a bold and flashy look or do you prefer modest and muted colors? Think about how your tie-dye can complement your wardrobe.

8. Let the dye react for 8 hours

As the dye sets it also spreads through the fabric, saturating it with color. Keep the shirt in a secure area where it won’t be disturbed.

Let the shirt set for 8 hours. The dye needs time to react and bind to the fabric.

If you’re in a hurry you can let it sit for 1-2 hours only but keep in mind that the colors may be less intense.

How much time to set the dye?

A tie-dye shirt takes about 8 hours to set at room temperature (70°F or 21°C).

Curing (hours)Temperature (°F)Temperature (°C)

Can you make the dye react faster?

A temperature of 90°F (35°C) will cure the dye in about 2 hours.

Increasing the temperature makes the dye react faster. Place the shirt in a warm room, on a windowsill or near a heater to cut down on the wait time.

Beware of cold temperatures. At 55°F (13°C) it takes multiple days to see any convincing results.

Should you wrap the shirt in plastic?

Contrary to popular belief, wrapping the shirt in plastic is not needed. The reaction will take place even if the shirt is uncovered. Only wrap the shirt up if you live in a dry climate and the shirt dries up too quickly.

9. Rinse out the shirt

Remove excess dye from the shirt. Rinse it under a faucet or submerge it in a bucket of water. Cold water is the key to keeping the colors clean and unstained. I like to remove the bindings before rinsing the shirt but you can as well just keep them on the garment. Take your time and rinse the shirt until the water starts to run clear.

Remove the ties if you didn’t already and start unfolding the shirt. Increase the water temperature to lukewarm. Turn the shirt inside-out, rinse out all the nooks and crannies of the fabric. Keep rinsing until the water runs clear. The shirt is now ready for the washing machine.

10. Washing your new tie-dye and aftercare

Run the shirt through a complete cold cycle in the washer. Use detergent as you normally would. Hang dry or tumble dry the shirt.

You can safely wash a tie-dye shirt together with other clothing. Make sure to rinse it well and wash it once by itself an you will be fine.

We have a whole post on washing and aftercare for your tie-dye items.

11. Clean up

Most of the time the cleaning process is pretty minimal. Tie-dye is actually less messy than many other crafts. Spills and accidents are pretty rare.

Use a rag or paper towels to wipe down your work surface. Wash your hands with warm soapy water. Finally, rinse out your bottles inside and out with lukewarm water.

Easy Folding Techniques for Beginners

Finding a design you like is super fun. What better way to discover the ones you like the most than trying a bunch of them?

There are as many ways to dye as there are ways to fold a shirt. This is the beauty of tie-dye. You can apply the dyes directly, dip the fabric in a bucket of dye, use paintbrushes, sponges, and more. Let your artistic spirit guide your hand.

Below are easy-to-follow instructions with step-by-step pictures of both the folding and dyeing process. Here are a few different designs you can create yourself easily:

1. Spiral Tie-dye Technique

Also called the swirl, probably the most famous tie-dye pattern, the spiral is surprisingly easy to do. It offers a classic look that never gets old.

Spiral Folding:

1) Start with the shirt flat on the table. Pinch a small section of fabric in the center of the shirt. Begin twisting clockwise. A small spiral core will start to form at the center of the shirt.

2) Continue Twisting. Use your other hand to guide the larger pleats as they start forming.

3) While keeping one hand securely in the center, use the other hand to finish placing the pleats around the spiral. The shirt will now take the form of a disc.

4) Bind the spiral with rubber bands or string to keep it neatly folded. You can adjust the rubber bands to create wedges or sections to dye.

Spiral Dyeing:

5) Using your squeeze bottle, apply a layer of dye into the first section. Fill in the wedge. Be gentle near the center of the spiral.

6) Use the next color. Apply the dye solution generously. You want the dye to penetrate deeply into the fibers. Continue filling in the sections one by one. You can follow any color scheme you want. Rainbow colors are very popular.

7) Once the first side is completed, turn over the shirt. Dye the second side in the same manner, using the same colors in the same sections.

8) Go over all your sections a second time. Apply the dye solution until you fully saturate the fabric.

2. Stripes Tie-dye Technique

You can make many kinds of stripes. Here we present you with the large horizontal stripes. Please note that you can just as well make vertical or diagonal stripes. Simply fold the shirt in the same direction you want your stripes.

Stripes Folding:

1) Place the shirt flat on your table. Fold the shirt into a series of small accordion folds. Starting with the side closest to you, begin pleating the sleeve towards the center of the shirt.

2) Continue pleating the shoulder and the chest. Push the fabric forward as you go. Try making all the pleats a similar size.

3) Work the fabric until the whole shirt is pleated. Bring the pleats together until the shirt is only a few inches wide.

4) Securely bind the shirt with rubber bands or string. This will prevent the pleats from coming undone. Place the rubber bands at intervals to create 2″ to 3″ sections.

Stripes Dyeing:

5) Use your squeeze bottle to apply a layer of dye into the first section. Fill in the rectangle between the rubber bands.

6) Alternate the color between sections to create stripes. Continue dyeing each section one after the other. Apply the dye generously to reach deep into the fabric and leave less white. Alternatively, apply only a small layer of dye to leave large white lines.

7) Continue filling in the sections one by one, taking care to pour your dye gently. Turn over the shirt once the first side is completed. Dye the second side the same way you dyed the first.

8) Fill in every last section of the pleated shirt, Apply the dye solution until you fully saturate the fabric to get full and rich colors. Follow any color scheme you like to create any variety of pleated tie-dye shirt.

3. Bullseye Tie-dye Technique

This technique let’s you create a series of concentric rings starting from the center of the shirt. You can change the point of origin by choosing a different starting point than the center.

Bullseye Folding:

1) Start with the shirt flat on a table. Find the center of your shirt and pinch it with your index finger and your thumb.

2) Grab hold of the fabric and gently start pulling up. The shirt should now begin to to pull up from the table.

3) While still holding the fabric, use your other hand to smooth down the rest of the shirt and form it into a cone.

4) Bind down the shirt with rubber bands or string. Start about an inch from the point and work your way up. Use your rubber bands strategically to create sections to dye.

Bullseye Dyeing:

5) With your squeeze bottle in hand, apply a color to the first section of the shirt. The color you use on the point will be the color at the center of your bullseye.

6) Alternate dye color for each sections to create concentric rings. Continue dyeing one section after the other until you fill them all.

7) Once the first side is done, turn over the shirt and dye the second side. Use the same colors in the same sections.

8) Go over all your sections a second time. Apply the dye solution until you fully saturate the fabric.

4. Rings Tie-dye Technique

This technique is another fun way to tie-dye. It let’s you create many small white sections on the shirt. The more tightly you bind each section, the more round the rings will be. Leave it loose to create small starburst shapes.

Rings Folding:

1) With the shirt flat on the table, identify the areas you want to have your white shapes on. Pinch a small amount of fabric in an area of your choosing.

2) Slightly pull on the small section of fabric until it lifts off the table by one to two inches. This will create a small pointed cone or knob on the shirt. Tightly wrap a rubber bands in the middle of the small cone.

3) Wrap the rubber band 2-3 times until it holds tightly. The pressure from the elastic band will keep the dye from penetrating the fabric. Alternatively, you can leave your rubber bands a bit loose to let more color through.

4) Continue pinching new sections of fabric and wrapping rubber bands on them. Pinch, pull, and bind until you’ve made a dozen knobs on the shirt.

Rings Dyeing:

5) Choose a color and start pouring dye on the shirt with your squeeze bottle. Gently fill in one large section at a time. Proceed from one section to the next.

6) You can choose any color scheme your like. Either use a single color for the whole shirt or use multiple colors for the background. You can even dye the knobs a different color than the rest.

7) Continue dyeing the shirt. Fill in the whole background. Start working on the knobs. Use a generous amount of dye on the background. Use a light layer of dye on the knobs.

8) Fill in the shirt with color. Use enough dye so that you don’t need to flip the shirt over. Pour enough dye solution so the color penetrates to the underside.

5. Squares Tie-dye Technique

This technique, also called the box fold, let’s you create geometric square designs. You can make many types of squares, all depending on the way in which you fold the shirt. The smaller you fold the shirt, the smaller the squares will be.

Squares Folding:

1) Lay the shirt flat on the table. Starting with the side closest to you, take a three inches wide section of fabric and fold it over lengthwise.

2) Continue folding the shirt in a series of accordion folds, each one three inches wide. Do this until the shirt is completely folded lengthwise.

3) Starting from the bottom of the shirt, take a three inch wide section of fabric and fold it over. Continue folding the shirt this way in an accordion style.

4) Once the shirt is completely folded, it should look more or less like a cube. Secure it in place with rubber bands so it keeps its shape.

Squares Dyeing:

5) Using a squeeze bottle, apply a layer of dye of a color of your choosing. Apply the dye at the sides of the cubes. Avoid dyeing the top and bottom of the fabric cube.

6) Fill in the entire first side. Proceed to the next side of the cube. Fill in the next side with dye solution. You can use the same color you used previously or any other of your choosing.

7) Continue filling in the sections one by one. Continue dyeing the folded shirt until every side is colored except the top and bottom.

8) You can leave the shirt as-is with a single layer of dye or you can apply a second layer of dye to push color deeper into the fabric and result in larger lines and less white on the shirt.

6. Triangles Tie-dye Technique

Not only can you make squares, triangles are also possible. This technique starts out the same way and is very similar overall. You can create geometric triangle shapes on your shirt the following way:

Triangles Folding:

1) Start with the shirt flat on a table lengthwise in front of you. Fold a three inches wide section of fabric on itself.

2) Fold the fabric in a series of accordion pleats. Make sure to fold a similar width each time. Continue folding until the shirt is completely folded and resembles a long rectangle.

3) Starting from the bottom of the shirt, take a corner of the rectangle and fold it over diagonally. Work your way up the fabric, folding it into triangles.

4) Continue until the whole shirt is folded and looks like a singular triangle from above. Secure the shirt in place with rubber bands to keep it from coming undone.

Triangles Dyeing:

5) Using a color of your choosing, apply a layer of dye solution to a side of the folded shirt. Avoid dyeing the top and bottom.

6) With your squeeze bottle, fill in the entire first side. Continue to the next side. You can either use the same color or choose a different one.

7) Continue filling in the sections one by one until you’ve done all three.You’re looking for full coverage of each side except the top and bottom.

8) The more dye you use to saturate the fabric, the thicker the lines will be and the less white there will be left on the shirt. You can either leave the shirt as-is with a single layer of dye or continue until fully saturated.

7. Mandala Tie-dye Technique

As a basic technique, the mandala let’s you create designs with multiple lines of symmetry.Each time you fold the fabric onto itself, it creates a mirror effect. Doing this multiple times will result in a mandala with many mirror faces. Be sure to apply a lot of dye in multiple layers to get it to go deep into the fabric and reach the center.

Mandala Folding:

1) Start with the shirt flat on a table. The first step is to fold the shirt in half. Take a side of the shirt and fold it lengthwise so that the sleeve is on top of the other.

2) Fold the shirt in half again. This time, take the bottom part of the shirt and fold it over the chest until its extremity reaches the shirt’s collar. The shirt should now be folded into quarters.

3) Fold the shirt in half again. If you’ve ever made a paper airplane, this part is very similar. Take a corner at the bottom of the shirt and fold it over diagonally so that it forms a triangle. The shirt is now folded in eights and has eight planes of symmetry.

4) Fold the shirt in half one last time. Press over the the edge of the folds to sharpen the creases. Bind the folded shirt with rubber bands or string. Starting with the tip, wrap the fabric working your way up. Place the bindings so that you leave open large sections of fabric waiting to be dyed.

Mandala Dyeing:

5) Using a squeeze bottle, pour dye solution of your chosen color over the fabric. Start with the first section. Work the dye into the fabric by applying enough liquid. The color you use on the tip of the triangle will appear at the center as a result.

6) Proceed to the next section. Using another color, fill in the section. Apply a generous amount of dye so that it reaches deeply into the fabric.

7) Continue dyeing the shirt alternating between colors. Dye each section one by one until the whole shirt is colored. Go over each section and add a new layer of the corresponding dye color.

8) Turn the shirt over. Dye the underside using the same colors as you use for the topside. Dye each sections two times to be sure to get enough dye to penetrate to the center. The mandala technique has many layers of fabric on top of each other. Getting good color saturation  is especially important.

Frequently asked questions

As a beginner I had tons of questions and no answers. This is why I made this guide so that no one has to go through this again.

Is it safe to pour dye down the drain?

Yes, it is safe to pour the surplus dye down the drain for small-scale home dyeing. For larger operations, treatment of discharge water is required.

Will tie-dye stain my table, sink, or bathtub?

As long as you use work surfaces with the right materials you should be completely fine. Simply avoid porous materials like raw wood and fabric.

Most modern non-porous surfaces like plastic, vinyl, metal, and glass are safe to use and won’t get stained.

Do you need to wash the fabric before dyeing it?

You don’t need to, but it’s preferable.

It’s preferable to clean the fabric before dyeing it. This is because newly bought fabric may contain dirt, oils and sizing. These substances may alter the result and weaken your colors.

When you have a good supply of blank clothing you don’t strictly need to clean them. Some manufacturers have blanks that are ready-to-dye when new.

Should you tie-dye wet or dry?

Use a damp shirt for folding and dyeing.

I definitely recommend folding and dyeing a shirt that is slightly damp. A shirt fresh out of the washer has just about the right amount of humidity. It must not be bone dry nor dripping wet.

A damp shirt is easier to fold. It should be malleable, stay in place and keep its shape. A damp shirt is also easier to dye. It should spread the dye evenly and saturate the fabric easily.

How long should the dye set before rinsing?

Let the shirt set for 8 hours before rinsing.

After dyeing the shirt you need to let is sit for a few hours in order for the dye to react with the fabric and bond permanently. This process needs time and warmth to complete. Make sure to let the shirt set at 70°F (21°C) or more.

After the wait is over, you can expect the color on your shirt to have spread a bit. This is completely normal and is a result of the dye migrating through the fabric.

How to wash a tie-dye shirt for the first time?

Rinse the shirt by hand then wash it normally.

Before washing your tie-dye shirt in the washing machine, you need to remove some excess dye. First, rinse the shirt under running water or dunk it in a bucket of cold water. After rinsing the shirt and when the water runs clear, you can wash the shirt normally.

After the shirt has been rinsed carefully, wash it alone or with other similar clothing for a full cold water cycle. After this, the shirt should be good to wash with dark clothing.

Can you wash a tie-dye shirt with regular clothing?

Yes, as long as it’s been rinsed and washed properly.

After rinsing the shirt and washing it in the washing machine, it will be ready to wear. After the first wear you can simply wash it normally as you would do any other shirt. Wash it with dark clothing or with old towels if you’re unsure.

Troubleshooting : Tips and Tricks

Problems can occur at any stage of the process. It’s not shameful to get unexpected results, it’s only a part of the process. I experienced these problems multiple times myself so I’ve got you covered.

Why is my color looking faded

Most of the time it’s actually easy to determine the cause of faded colors. There are only a few possible scenarios in which this can happen. We’ll cover them all in details :

Wrong kind of fabric

Choose a 100% cotton shirt.

The first thing you should check is that you used the right type of fabric. The dyes we use only work on cotton and other natural fibers. It will not work on polyester, nylon, or other artificial plastic fibers. The color will simply wash off from synthetic materials.

Wrong kind of dye

Choose Chandye approved dyes.

After making sure that you used the right type of fabric you should take a look at your dyes. We use a type of dye specialized at dyeing natural fabric at home at room temperature. Any other type of dye or pigment will leave you with no or with subpar results.

Not enough dye activator

Add one teaspoon (8 grams) of dye activator per cup (250 ml) of water.

When mixing your dye solutions don’t forget the dye activator, or else your dye will not react and the color will appear very faded. This is in fact one of the most likely scenario and it still happens to me sometimes.

Shown below, an example of what happens when you forget the dye activator. The orange was supposed to be as bright and vibrant as the red, but I forgot to put any dye activator in with the orange.

Old/bad dyes

Mix fresh dye solutions.

By themselves, the ingredients for tie-dye have a very long shelf life. Raw dye powders can last for two years or more when stored away from light and humidity. When mixed with plain water, dye powders can last for a week at room temperature or a month when refrigerated.

But once you introduce the activator to the solution, the dye starts reacting with it’s environment. A bottle of water containing both dye and activator will only stay good for a few hours. After that, the dye starts degrading. This is very noticeable if you try using a day-old bottle of dye.

Temperature too cold

Let the shirt set at 70°F (21°C) or more.

The temperature should be at least 70°F (21°C) for the dye to react with any speed at all. At normal temperatures you can expect the reaction to take place in eight hours or less. The reaction still takes place at colder temperatures, it just starts taking a long time. It can also stop altogether when the water freezes.

When the temperature starts dropping, the reaction takes increasingly longer to take place. You can expect poor results from a low temperature of only 59°F (15°C). At that temperature it would take multiple days for the dye to react completely.

Did not wait long enough

Let the shirt set for eight hours or more.

After dyeing don’t forget to let the shirt rest for a few hours in order for the dye to react and the color to reach full strength.

From wet to dry

If you notice the color becoming lighter after drying the shirt, this is totally normal. Colors on a shirt appear darker when wet. This is an optical illusion caused by the water trapped in the fabric. Just like how sweat stains can make dark spots on a shirt. Try wetting an area of the shirt to compare.

Why are there white areas on the shirt

White areas are not always a bad thing. Often they will enhance the design. It’s still a good idea to learn where they come from. Learn how to control the amount of white you leave on the shirt.

White is the result of no dye reaching this area of the fabric. White areas can take many forms depending on the folding technique used. The form can be lines, spots, spiral, squares, dots or other.

This is almost always a direct result of poor dye penetration. This happens when dye poured at the surface of folded shirt doesn’t reach the center. These are the most common reasons why you can see white areas:

Not enough dye

We can often be skittish when starting out, unsure of how much dye to use. Don’t be afraid to pour more than you think is necessary. It’s hard to overuse dye, when too much is used it will simply flow off the shirt. Be sure to fully saturate the fibers with dye for best results.

Be sure to apply the dye in layers for best penetration. Apply a first layer of dye to the fabric and wait a few seconds. You can pour a second layer when you see that the solution has been absorbed. Also keep in mind that a thicker fabric is usually thirstier. Hoodies and sweatpants are notorious for absorbing large quantities of dye.

The fabric is too dry

When the fabric is too dry, the dye will have a hard time penetrating the upper layer of fabric. You will see droplets of dye solution forming on top of the fabric when pouring. The liquid will roll off the fabric. Moisten a shirt that is too dry with a spray bottle.

The fabric is too wet

A shirt that is too wet will hold a lot of water in its fibers. This will create an additional resistance. If the fibers are already saturated with water they cannot accept more liquid. The dye will spread easily on the surface but have trouble penetrating the fabric. Set the shirt aside until it dries a bit.

Why is my shirt hard to fold

Folding is one of the most complex process in tie-dye. But that doesn’t mean that it should be difficult. With each technique having its own intricacies, there are also general rules that will help you succeed.

Be patient, take your time

Practice makes perfect. This is true of any craft and tie-dye is no exception. The more you try, the easier it gets. All I can suggest is to take your time. Move slowly and observe how the fabric responds to your touch. You will soon understand the patterns governing the movement of fabric.

The fabric is too dry

If the fabric is too springy, has no stickiness, and won’t stay in place, it’s probably because it’s too dry. Spray the fabric with a spray bottle and wait 5-10 minutes. Once the water has spread equally, test the shirt and spray again if necessary.

The fabric is too wet

If the fabric is too heavy and sticks to the table, it may be because it’s too wet. Wring the shirt out, take it for a spin in the washer, or hang it for a few minutes. Test the shirt and try folding it again.

What fabrics can you tie-dye?

Tie-dye dyes work on cellulose (plant fibers) and protein (animal fibers). This means we can dye pretty much any naturally occurring fibers.

You can tie-dye cotton, linen, hemp, rayon, jute, wool, and silk.

You cannot tie-dye polyester, nylon, spandex, acrylic, fleece, and synthetic furs.

Can tie-dyeCannot tie-dye
SilkSynthetic furs

Can you tie-dye fabric blends?

Yes, you can tie-dye fabric blends. Keep in mind that only dyeable fibers will receive color. This means for a shirt with a 50-50 blend of cotton and polyester only the cotton will get dyed. This will result in a paler overall look to the shirt.

What items can you tie-dye?

When tie-dyeing you’re not limited to t-shirts. You can actually dye any variety of garment and other items. When shopping for your blanks, look for as much cotton as you can find. 100% cotton is the best, but you can have as little as 50% for a decent result.

How to tie-dye hoodies and sweatshirts

You can use the same techniques and create the same patterns as with normal shirts. The only difference is that hoodies and sweatshirts are much thicker and absorb a lot more liquid. They require up to two times more solution to dye.

Additionally, their thickness makes them harder to fold. When rinsing a hoodie or a sweatshirt, you will often have to rinse longer. It takes more work to get all the excess dye out.

How to tie-dye bottoms and sweatpants

Bottoms are just as easy to tie-dye as tops. You can use the same techniques and go for the same patterns. Crumples and spirals work especially good for pants.

Just like hoodies, sweatpants are made of thick absorbing fabric. They require more dye and are harder to fold than slimmer fabrics.

How to tie-dye socks

Socks are an often forgotten part of tie-dye. But I can assure you that they are one of the best item to receive the color treatment. Since they are so small we often use simple techniques like the crumple or the lines. You can choose to tie and dye them in pair or separately.

How to tie-dye canvas shoes

You can even dye canvas fabric like the one found in some sneakers. Simply wet the canvas and dye it using squeeze bottles or dip them in buckets of dye. Laces made of natural materials can also be dyed.

How to tie-dye a baseball cap

Just like sneaker canvas, you can also dye baseball caps. Some baseball caps can be folded, but many contain a hard plastic brim. You can wet the baseball cap and dye it using squeeze bottles.