How to tie-dye your shirt this summer (including stylish DIY tie-dye designs)

Posted by for Fashion

Want in on the tie-dye action? Grab an old t-shirt and give it a new lease of life.

It’s the nineties trend that no one expected to see again, but tie dye is back in a big way for spring/summer 2019. It was seen all over the catwalks, from top to toe at Stella McCartney, Michael Kors Collection, Collina Strada, Eckhaus Latta, and MSGM, and on separates at Paco Rabanne, Prada, Calvin Klein 205W39NYC, Polo Ralph Lauren and Prabal Gurung. And the street style stars have been jumping straight on the band wagon. 

The easiest way to try the trend is to wear a t-shirt or jumper tucked into high waisted jeans, a white cropped style this summer is a good option. Where to find these tie-dye pieces though? Designers and the high street have a huge selection to choose from, but how about giving tie-dying a go yourself? You can choose the pattern and colours you want, and, if you grab an old t-shirt that’s seen better days to dye, doing your bit for the environment too. See our 6 step guide to tie-dying for yourself below.

Step 1

Gather your supplies: a white t-shirt or light piece of clothing, coloured dye (try Dylon Eco Reactive Dye), rubber bands, a cooling rack, gloves and a large bowl.

Step 2

Dampen the shirt with warm water and lay it on a flat surface. Put your gloves on, then scrunch the fabric towards the middle of the shirt with your fingers.

Step 3

Stretch between six and eight rubber bands in a random pattern around the scrunched shirt to secure the fabric in place, so it sits in a tight ball.

Step 4

Rest the cooling rack over your bowl and place the scrunched-up t-shirt on top of it. Squirt the dye all over both sides of the t-shirt, leaving no visible white space.

Step 5

Leave the crunched t-shirt to dry for at least six hours then, leaving the rubber bands on, wash the dye out as the packaging instructs (usually a cool wash). Hang to dry.

Step 6

Your tie-dye t-shirt is ready to wear! To avoid the colour fading, always wash it in cold water and let it air dry - you’ll be doing your bit for the environment, too.

Pick your pattern

Once you’ve mastered the scrunch technique explained above, expand your tie dye wardrobe with different designs.

The Bullseye

To achieve this circular pattern, stretch out your t-shirt and put rubber bands in regular intervals down the length to form a tube.

The Swirl

For the classic spiral, lay your t-shirt flat, pinch the middle and twist clockwise until the fabric forms a roll. Secure with bands.

The Grid

Create a check effect by folding your t-shirt in a concertina from the bottom. Put rubber bands at regular intervals along the fabric.

With thanks to Abi Patten (Abidashery.etsy.com). Words for the step-by-step Kylie Lynch. Opening images courtesy of Getty. Images for the step-by-step shot by Pixeleyes.

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