Printer Friendly

Tie-dye is back!

Tie-dye is back!

WHEN TODAY'S TEACHERS WERE KIDS themselves, when hippies were in their heyday, tie-dyeing was a popular craft. "Hey, man, cool threads!" Now it's back (for some of us, it never left!)--an inexpensive way to create wearable works of art.

Materials

Packets of household dye in powder form are usually more economical than liquid dyes. Red, yellow, blue and black are sufficient. Clean, white or light-colored fabric, such as cotton T-shirts and old sheets, are "fit to be tied."

Other necessary materials are string, scissors and large containers. Not essential, but convenient and helpful, are rubber or plastic gloves, lots of newspapers, clothesline and clothespins.

Patterning techniques

The "tie" part of tie-dyeing includes a diversity of methods. Binding and bunching the fabric, done in a number of ways, produces an infinite variety of effects. Overhand knots create blurred, shadowy stripes. Twisted and coiled material can be tightly wrapped, or criss-crossed with widely spaced cord or string. Cloth might even be bunched up randomly into a tight ball and securely bound.

Pleats, folded into the fabric, produce long streaked strips. If pleats are folded both ways, irregular checks result. Even zig-zags and diamond-shapes are possible with diagonal and triangular folding. The possibilities are nearly endless.

Sturdy rubber bands can be substituted for string. Buttons or washers can be tightly rubber-banded into the cloth to produce pleasing circular shapes. Stitching, done by hand or machine, can draw the fabric and constrict it firmly.

Preparing to dye!

Powdered color is dissolved in a small amount of warm water in a bucket or basin, adding more hot water as needed. Students can place just a portion of their tied fabric in a dye bath, or their entire piece in one color. In the latter case, over-dyeing adds new coloration to cloth that has been dyed one color. In partial dyeing, students sometimes put one end of their bundle in one dyebath, and the other end in another!

There are no exact rules for hand-dyeing. Students may leave their fabric in the dye for about five minutes or longer, depending upon the deepness of color desired. Hues will be lighter when they dry. Students who plan to dye their cloth several times should use the lightest color first (probably yellow).

When the right color has been achieved, rinse cloth well in cool water. Another rinse, after the knots are untied, removes even more surplus dye.

Trouble shooting

In their excitement and impatience, students will sometimes bind their fabric too loosely, or remove it from the dye too quickly, failing to produce deep, vibrant colors. Another potential problem is that some fabrics won't "take" the dye as well as cotton or cotton-blends. Also, colors become contaminated and muddied if students forget to rinse between dye baths. Yellow, for instance, quickly becomes an ugly chartreuse.

A related process is tie-bleaching, also called "discharge dyeing," in which color is removed from very dark or intensely-colored fabric with a chlorine bleach solution. Great caution must be exercised with this process--use rubber gloves, aprons and a well-ventilated room.

The craft of tie-dyeing, which originated with ancient civilizations, is once again in vogue. It's exciting, spontaneous and unpredictable. The striking results are ones students will simply "dye" for!
COPYRIGHT 1989 Davis Publications, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Guhin, Paula
Publication:School Arts
Date:Feb 1, 1989
Words:540
Previous Article:Transformed folk art.
Next Article:For the birds.
Topics:


Related Articles
Microwave tie-die.
Cultural connections. (Editor's Comments).
FAIR STILL HEARKENS TO '60S : FREE SPIRITS FLOCK TO ANNUAL TOPANGA COUNTRY FESTIVAL.
EXHIBIT TAKES VISITORS BACK TO THE '60S : MUSIC, MEMORABILIA REKINDLE ERA'S PASSION AT REAGAN LIBRARY.
Wilder-Dye. (2003 Wedding Register).
Business as usual at Saturday Market.
ANGELS STAND GROUND BUT LOSE MOLINA SHOWS GRIT; OAKLAND WINS IN NINTH OAKLAND 6, ANGELS 5.
MERRY MARKET DAYS.
Spring trends we love: long, cold winters are for the birds. Time to come out of the cold and warm up to pattern, color and anything-goes easiness.
Tie Die 101 and Advanced Tie Die Techniques.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters