Cheap & Easy Non-Professional Tie-Dye ADVICE NEEDED
  • Good Day,

    We are attempting to tie-dye 150 t-shirts for a college event and have received mixed advice on how to go about it:
    1) We need dye. We want 2-3 shades of purple/lilac.
    2) This needs to be quick--should we use buckets of dyed water or spray bottles?
    3) Is soda ash a scam?

    PLEASE HELP with your honest feedback!

    Thanks!
  • Where did you get the idea that soda ash is a scam? It's cheap, readily available (ask for "sodium carbonate" at swimming pool supplier or hardware store), and absolutely essential for good tie-dyeing dyes.

    Soda ash doesn't work for inferior all-purpose dyes, though. Never use all-purpose dye for tie-dyeing cotton, because it gives horrible results. All-purpose dyes, such as Rit or Tintex, are a bad choice for tie-dyeing.

    Use a good tie-dye kit, such as the ones sold by Jacquard Products or at Dharma Trading Company, use 100% cotton shirts which are NOT stain-resistant, and follow a good tie-dyeing recipe such as the one on How to Tie Dye. If you don't want to buy a tie-dyeing kit, buy Procion MX dyes, soda ash, urea, plastic gloves, and a cheap face mask to wear when you mix up the dye powders.

    -Paula
  • We are doing a similar event with a large number of college students. I have located a store who carries your product. My question is, with large numbers of participants, do you recommend mixing and using squirt bottles or using buckets. Any advice you able/willing to provide is apprecaited.
  • The squirt bottle method is the way to go. Just dipping garments into a bucket won't give you the depth of color that you need and following the immersion dyeing method (which you could in fact do) means that the dyebath is only good for one time. This is because once the soda ash and dye mix together the chemical reaction starts. That is why it is best to keep the dye and the soda ash separate until its on the shirt.

    Jenny