Washing tie-dyed shirts
  • I bought some dyes from jacquard together with soda ash, synthrapol and urea from the same company. Followed all the instructions listed on your page step by step. I soaked the shirts in soda ash water for about 20 minutes. I mixed 2 teaspoons of dye with one cup of warm(not too warm :) tap water. I also used 1 tablespoon of urea. I applied this solution onto the 100% cotton shirts. I put them into plastic bags. And left for about 24 hours outside on our balcony. Then I was not sure what to do. I checked many pages about tie dyeing. I found all information except the one about washing. So well, I know i need to rinse the fabrics in cold water and then let the temperature increase until it's very warm. Then I washed the shirts in 60 degrees(celsius) with synthrapol and so, the shirts came out paler than before washing. I thought the temperature was a problem so next time I washed it in a hand wash program (20 degrees + synthrapol) but the colors still weren't same vibrant as before washing. Also the parts of the fabric that were white at first developed grey, pinkish or blueish. I tried once with the soap soak and the problem of the white fabric problem was a little smaller, but the colors were still paler. I'm out of ideas, none of my tries functioned. Do I need to soap soak in hot water? What temperature should I wash in? Washing in a washing machine is ok for the dyes, isn't it? Could it be that I didn't use enough of soda ash? I read today that if i find some little soda stones in the soda ash water (which i found), it would mean that we have hard tap water? Could this be a problem, should I use some calgon? Do I need to wash different colored shirts separately? Please help me out cause whatever I do, it doesn't work and I really love the effect of tie-dyes when done right. Thank you in advance. :)
  • Hi there,

    Sounds as though you are doing everything pretty much right. You didn't mention if you'd prewashed your tees. This could be a problem if there is significant sizing on the shirts. Also, check to be sure you are not using shirts labeled 'stain resistant' - there are more and more of these on the market and the finish will interfere with the dye uptake. Last, you mention the possibility of hard water - if you think that is the case then, yes, calgon is a good idea.
    Hope this helps - because you are right - tie dye that comes out bright is great!
  • Hi,Thanks for the quick answer. I'll try to use some calgon. Could you tell me yet if I need to wash my shirts after soap soaking or can I first wear them? In which temperature should I wash the fabrics in general? Hot or cold machine wash? :confused:??

  • It is a good idea to just run your shirts through a wash/rinse cycle in your machine after the soap soak - warm water is good, cold water is fine. In general, for rinsing, start with cool water - bring temperature up to very warm as you are rinsing. Then into the washer with synthrapol and very warm water (60 Celsius is good) through a full wash/rinse cycle - that should really be all you need to do.
    One other thing occurred to me as I reread your original post; you'll want to be sure your shirts are staying about 25 - 27 Celsius for the 24 hours during which they are setting.
  • Thank you so much. I hope everything is gonna work fine now. You really helped me out a lot. Thank you! :D
  • My Pleasure!!