My First Kids' Tie Dyeing party
  • HI,

    I am having my first tie dye party - the kids are ages 5-7-
    Is there a way to skip soaking the shirts in the soda ash for 20 mintues before dyeing? I bought the funky groovy tie dye kit and am trying to avoid having to soak the shirts for 20 minutes then dye them- also when dyeing the shirts- how long should you let them sit so that the color is rich

    I would appreciate any input back- I am a beginner


  • You have to use soda ash, but there are several choices of how to use it.

    [*]Soak for five minutes, instead of twenty. If you stir the shirts during their soak, so that there's no problem with air bubbles, then five minutes is adequate.
    [*]Presoak in soda ash and then line-dry, one or more days before dyeing. The soda ash stays in the dry shirts, which can be very convenient. The problem here is that soda ash in the fabric means you have to wear gloves to do the tying, which makes it harder.
    [*]Add soda ash directly to the dye immediately before using the dye. Note that if you wait an hour after adding the soda ash, before dyeing, much of the dye will be dead before it ever gets to the shirt, so really, add the soda ash to the dye only after you've gotten everyone set to use that dye. Add one-half teaspoon (2 or 3 ml) of dry soda ash powder to every cup (8 ounces or 250 ml) of dye mixture, and shake well.
    It is also possible to add soda ash after applying dye to fabric, but this is not so suitable for tie-dyeing.

    I'd rather have the kids tie the shirts dry, or moistened with plain water, before adding soda ash in any way, so that there's no soda ash in the shirts when the kids tie them. Soda ash is not horribly poisonous, but it is harsh enough to make your hands red and sore if you don't wear gloves. Doing the tying before the soda ash means they don't have to wear gloves to do the tying, which makes it easier. Wearing gloves for tying is not terrible, though, just a little more trouble.

    After you get the dye on the shirts, let them rest overnight at 70°F. If the daytime temperature is below 70°, wrap the shirts up individually in plastic and take them inside to a warm place overnight so they can react.