Keeping busy while at home on our second round of quarantine has made us dig deep for some creative inspiration.
I’ve been loving the return of tie dye, something I used to spend hours doing as a child. We lived in a family apartment block owned by my grandad until I was about 12. At the back of property, between the main house and the garage building was a gap where cars were sometimes parked, but also housed a big cement double sink. The ladies who cleaned the apartments would gather here in the mornings and wash their clothes, or big outdoor dishwashing, or messy cleaning was done. This was where I spent many hours during school holidays doing tie dye…. pretty much coloring anything white in sight.
The packet of dye used to cost about $1, and I’d have my folks drive me to the local shops in the area and buy it in a few colors. I’d stand over buckets with colors, creating things with no idea that my skill would make a comeback.
Fast forward to 2020…
Noah and I spent a day playing with tie dye. I ordered a kit off Amazon with a mix of colors and supplies (Cost around AED 180), and had everything we needed including gloves. I bought two bags of ice for this style of dye. You can shop the same pack off Amazon HERE
I got plain white T-shirts from HnM and Zara. I wanted to wear these, so went with brands who I know fit well, and have good quality fabric for dying. There are options in nearly every store, but I specifically wanted the Zara fit.
Step by step tie dye:
Pre-wash items to remove starch, without detergent or softener. Make sure you are well clear of anything that could be stained by dye, and also consider wind carrying the dye powder – we had clothes on the line stained from dye that had flown a few meters away.
Lay your scrunched up, damp garment on a grid or rack and cover it in ice cubes. Use the dye without mixing it in water, and sprinkle over the ice, in the combination that you want. I went a little heavy handed, but leave the white spaces made by the ice… don’t cover every spot
Leave the ice to melt through, taking the color with it. Keep an eye on it every hour or so and avoid letting the garment dry out. Once the ice melts, keep it damp and in the same position for about 4-6 hours.
After this time, rinse the garment out and try to keep the shape at first, then wash a bit more thoroughly releasing any elastic bands.
Here’s a useful hack to keep the color from running:
In a separate bowl (large enough to place your garment in), make a solution of:
1 cup white vinegar
Sprinkle of salt
Top up with cold water to submerge the garment
Leave in here for about 15-25 minutes. This step locks in the color. Then rinse under running water, and hang out to dry.
Wash this garment separately for the first few washes in cold water.
We were pretty impressed with our first attempt (Noah that is!), and I noticed a few tweaks I’d make for the next round.
I may be slightly obsessed, and been online to order more white goods to color. I’ll be trying different methods so if you’re as into this as we are – stay tuned!