Can you wait longer than 48 hours....
  • Is it ok to wait longer than 48 hours to unwrap tie-dyes?
  • If you must let it go another day, it shouldn't hurt anything.

    Do you already know about how to wash them out? Since you have allowed plenty of time for your dyes to react, the dyes should all be used up now, either by reacting with the fiber or by reacting with the residual moisture. This means that it will be safe to dump all of the shirt into the washer at once, regardless of color. You can wash up to eight pounds dry weight, that is, in a standard top-loading washer, using their weight before dyeing, so probably up to 16 or 17 shirts per load, depending on size. Wash once in cool water, to remove auxiliary chemicals such as soda ash, then wash two or three times in hot water. For most efficient use of your hot water, soak the shirts in hot water for a little while extra before completing the wash cycle.

    If you allow only a few hours for dyeing, in contrast, there would still be some "live" unreacted dye in your shirts. If some of that contacts another part of shirt where it is not wanted, it will be permanent, so it's important to rinse and wash separately if you have not allowed the shirts to sit at least overnight, at 70° or higher, to allow the dye to fully react with the fiber.

  • Oooh, I can save time AND water by doing them that way!!!

    Thanks for asking the question, and thanks (as always!) Paula for answering.:cool:
  • Hey Heather,

    How did your tie dyes come out anyway? Did the purple work out for you? I think I want to make some like yours with a fushia X in the middle.:)

    Thanks, Diana
  • I didn't do the fuschia X. I was nervous and chickened out.

    I did 6 wedges of color, like I normally do. The shirts came out ok:
    Link to Photos

    I think that I should have left a little strip of white between the colors so there would be less overlap, but the parents were thrilled with the shirts. I am happy to be done with this project!

    Now I can do more fun experimenting. I am going to do my first heart-shape tomorrow!

    Thanks for all your helpful advice,
  • The shirts look great and everybody looks like they had fun! Don't be too hard on yourself. People don't obsess about the perfect tie dye the way we do!

  • The first few pictures (orange tie-dye and fuschia-purple-turquoise) are this year's batch.

    The rainbow tie-dyes were from last year's bunch!