Can 30 kids tie-dye in 20 minutes?
  • We will be using Jacquard's tie-dye kit that's large enough for 200 shirts at a church event in August. I will have 4 groups of about 30 kids each for a total of 125 kids. The problem is that each group of 30 kids will only have 20 minutes at the tie-dye station to make their shirt. Kids are ages 6-10, with plenty of teen helpers floating around.
    What would be easiest considering our large group and time constriction? I plan to do this... will this work:
    Prewash shirts the week before to remove sizing. Dry shirts. Prepare the squirt bottles by adding the dye powder and soda ash together in the bottle, and not fill the squirt bottles with water until the morning we are dying shirts. That morning, kids will tie their DRY shirts, apply dye with the squirt bottles, and place in Ziplocs. We will send them home just like that with instructions for washing and rinsing (after 24 hours). I want the shirts to look great, colorful, not all brown. How does it work to have the dye and soda ash together in the bottles? How does it work to dye dry shirts? Please help-- don't want this to flop!!
  • Hi there,

    The biggest issue with your plan is the addition of the soda ash to the dye powder in the bottles of dye. Once the water has been added the dye begins to activate and bythe end of the first hour (and perhaps even toward the end of the first 1/2 hour) the dye is 'exhausted' so the colors on the shirts will come out looking faded or dull.
    One way to get around this and reduce some of the time crunch would be to prewash and then soda soak the shirts. At that point you can dry the tee shirts with the soda ash in the shirts. The children can then tie the shirts and apply the dye. It is a good idea to have the children wear their gloves during the tieing process as the soda ash is very drying to the skin.
    hope this helps
  • Thank you so much, Anet!
    I'm wondering if I can do the soda ash soak and drying 7-10 days before we actually dye the shirts or if the soda ash will lose its effectiveness over time? If that's too far out, how much in advance can I prepare the shirts?
    We will definently have the kids wear gloves-- thanks for all of your help!
  • Hi there,

    Seven to 10 days in advance is just fine - have fun!!