Summer is the time for tie-dye but sometimes you want to save a little time when you tie-dye, but still have results as vibrant as the pros get, not washed out faded ghost tie-dyes like you can get with “supermarket/chainstore” dyes and kits. Not having to soak in soda ash makes tie-dyeing less messy and more kid friendly too so here is how to get it all in the bottle and onto your shirts.
• Fiber Reactive Dyes- #1 Lemon Yellow,#25 Turquoise, #13 Fuchsia are the basic primary colors (but we have 150 colors to choose from!)
• Squeeze Bottles #SB - 8oz or 16oz are easier sizes for kids
• Soda Ash Fixer
• Stuff to tie-dye
• Dharma Professional Textile Detergent
Let’s Get Started!
For this method we are going to mix Soda Ash fixer directly into bottles with the dye, just before you use them. The colors will be just as vibrant as when you do the Soda Ash Soak Method IF you use it up quickly. The advantage to this method is that you have less contact with soda ash, which is irritating to the skin. The drawback is that the mixed dyes should be used within an hour or so of adding the Soda Ash; after that time the colors will be weak and get weaker as time goes by. The older it is, the more will end up just washing out, leaving pastel colors in the end.
Grab your squeeze bottles and fill as follows:
|Squeeze Bottle||Dye(*)(**)||Urea||Soda Ash|
|8oz||2 tsp (4*) (8**)||1 Tbsp||1 tsp|
|16oz||4 tsp (8*) (16**)||2 Tbsp||2 tsp|
|32oz||8 tsp (16*) (32**)||4 Tbsp||4 tsp|
An *asterisk by the name of the dye on our chart and on the dye label itself means you need to use twice as much of that color to get color matching our chart, and two ** means you need four times as much dye, like with blacks.
Pro-Tip: We recommend dissolving the Urea first, then using warm Urea water to paste up the dye powder in something like a pyrex measuring cup the way you would flour for gravy. Then gradually add warm water until you have enough oz. to fill the squirt bottle. Use a funnel to fill the bottle. Way less lumps this way, or freckles of undissolved dye on your tie-dyes.
Fill your bottle with warm water and shake them up well until everything is dissolved. Use within 60 - 90 minutes max. If you need to take them with you to your dye event, urea, dye and water can be mixed ahead and then the soda ash can be added just before dyeing. Make sure everything is thoroughly dissolved before applying the dye, so the squeeze bottle tips won’t plug up. As always it is best to pre-wash your garments to remove any fabric softeners, grease, fingerprints, etc. Have everyone tie them up, they can be dry or damp from the pre-wash. Damp clothing will absorb less dye and still be vibrant. Dry clothing will suck up a LOT of dye and be harder to wash out all the excess afterward.
Apply the dye with the squeeze bottles and then cover your tie-dye with plastic or put in a ziplock bag. Let them sit 4-24 hours, the longer the brighter! Ambient temperature should be at LEAST 70º F, the warmer the better. Cure longer if it is cold. If it is hot, and you make sure your tie-dyes are in plastic so they don’t dry out, they will cure fast.
Rinse your tie-dyes under COLD running water to get the soda ash out and then un-tie them as you continue rinsing, until the water runs fairly clear. To finish removing the remaining excess dye wash in HOT cycle in your washer with Dharma Textile Detergent. Don’t fill the machine with too many tie-dyed garments at once or the water will get too muddy and your colors and white areas may end up dingy looking or colored over with some of the excess dye.
Pro-Tip: Some Milsoft fabric softener in the rinse will help make your tie-dye soft and comfy. The dyeing process can dry out fabrics and make them feel kind of harsh.