Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fancy effects on garments - some tips on T-Shirt dyeing

The best method for tie-dye!

Generally tie-dye is a method of dyeing in which the fabric is tied securely as per the design requirement, to prevent the dye to reach the tied portion. People used to fold, twist, stitch, crumple and knot to inhibit the flow of dye. Presently all folding, twisting, knotting etc., is done starting with a wet garment spread flat on a plastic sheet covered table. The pattern of the folds etc. and where the colors are squirted dictates the resulting design. With experience, the end result can be predicted and controlled to some extent, but surprise is part of what makes tie-dye an exciting and interesting art form - and there will be plenty of surprise.

  1. Fold and/or tie the fabric into the desired patterns. The designs will be more defined if you wet the shirt and squeeze or spin out excess water before folding.
  2. Wear your dust mask and dissolve 250 grams of Soda Ash Fixer per 4 liters of warm water. Soak the tied garments about 5-15 minutes (until saturated). Reuse solution until gone. Squeeze out excess so garment is just damp, not dripping.
  3. Using your dust mask and gloves, combine water with all chemicals except dye. Add liquid to dye gradually, pasting up to avoid lumps. Apply dye with squeeze bottles, paint brushes, sponges, etc., as many colors as you want. Easiest to use a funnel to pour dissolved dye into squeeze bottles.
  4. Put fabric (still tied) in a plastic bag (the idea is to keep it wet and chemically active - any method of keeping it wet is O.K.) and let sit for at least 4 hours but preferably 24 hours to "cure". Shorter times work better in summer, and longer times are needed when it is cold.
  5. Remove from bag and while still tied, rinse off the excess dye under cold running water (faucet, hose or shower), then rinse in warmer water while you untie and after garments are untied, until water runs fairly clear. Have your washing machine pre-filled with hot water with Nunonwet-con and throw in the clothing as soon as it is rinsed, running it through a full cycle.
 Some more tips on tie-dyeing:
Dye shirt a solid color first using Tub Dyeing Method, then tie-dye using above method.
• After step 4, untie and re-tie in contrasting pattern.
• After tie-dyeing item, re-tie and use Discharge paste to bleach out a contrasting pattern.
• Sprinkle pure Cotfix Vinylsulphone dye powder onto tied and pre-soaked item for different effect (super intense color. Use a salt shaker with lots of salt and some dye for a lighter application)
• Put a small amount of Sodium Alginate thickener into dye mixture (step 3) to slow down the rate that the dye spreads and to create sharper edges.
In step 4 any method keeping the fabric wet is OK, needn't be a plastic bag - cover many with plastic drop cloth, wrap in plastic wrap, etc.
• The warmer the temperature where you lay out your tie-dyes to cure, the quicker the chemical reaction.
• Use Water Softener if you suspect you have "hard" water.
• DON’T USE HOT WATER. The dyes work best in warm water (60°C).
• Urea helps dye to dissolve, so dissolve the Urea in water first. Add this water to the dye powder gradually and paste it up to avoid lumps. Un-dissolved dye makes "explosions" of color or "freckles", so if a color is difficult to dissolve, straining through some light fabric might be necessary. Coffee filters only work if the dye is really liquid. Otherwise, they filter out too much of the dye.
• If you have trouble making a paste of the colors, a little Calsolene Oil can help because it breaks the surface tension.

1 comment:

  1. i love the blog....great keep posting new development buddy (y)