What Do I Need?
For any tie-dye project, you'll definitely need:
- Stuff to dye - 100% cotton or rayon is best -we have lots to choose from!
- Dharma Fiber Reactive MX Dye Powder to make liquid dye
- Dust mask for safely mixing the dye and soda ash powders
- Soda Ash fixer to make the dye permanent
- Synthrapol or Professional Textile Detergent to remove excess dye and keep your white areas white
- Squeeze bottles to apply the dye
- rubber bands or waxed synthetic sinew
Optional items to make the event easier:
- Urea to help dissolve the dye, make your dye cure better, be brighter
- Water Softener to make the colors brighter if you have hard water
- Reduran hand cleaning cream for dye removal
- Disposable plastic aprons
- Plastic Drop Cloths to protect the tables, cover the tie-dyes to keep damp for "curing"
- funnels to get the dissolved dye into the squeeze bottles
- measuring cups and spoons just for your dye and chemicals
- table for each tie-dye "station"
- old newspapers, paper towels
- bowl of water at each station to rinse gloved fingers in between colors
- 1 gallon zip lock bags if you are sending tie-dyes home to be rinsed and washed
How Much Do I Buy?
For a group of less than 20 shirts (or equivalent), you'll need 1 lb. of Soda Ash fixer, 1 lb. of Urea, at least two 2 oz. containers of dye, and one pint of Synthrapol detergent.
For a group of more than 20 but less than 100 items, you'll need 5-10 lb. of Soda Ash fixer, 1-5 lbs Urea, one or two 8 oz jars of dye or at least 3 - 6 2oz containers of dye to have more color variety. A pint of Synthrapol may be enough, but a quart would be safer.
Order squeeze bottles based on how many colors and also how many "stations" you will be setting up. 8 oz are more comfortable for little kids to use but have to be filled more often, 16 oz are comfortable for older kids and adults, 32 oz are good if you are going to have a huge event and want to re-fill less. It uses up about 4 oz of liquid dye mix for every adult t-shirt.
We have kits that put all of this together for you, or you can use the kits as a guideline to figure out how much and what you need to order.
We also have some excellent books and DVDs which provide neat folding and application ideas.
If you're looking for detailed instructions for Tie-Dye, please see our Tie-Dye Instructions page.