Dyeing and tie-dye techniques

Tie and dye / Starburst effect

Tie and dye is a resist method of dyeing cotton fabrics. The dye cannot penetrate into the cotton under the materials which have been used to hold the fabric. These can be clip pegs, bull dog clips, string or elastic bands.For young children the use of elastic bands is the easiest method but remember – the elastic bands must be thick and pulled tightly around the cotton! Dylon dyes are effective for colouring the fabric as they are economical to use and come in a variety of colours. The fabric can be tied in many ways to give different effects when dyed.

Starburst Effect

square of cotton fabric is held at the centre and gathered downwards into a thin strip. Elastic bands are then wrapped tightly around the fabric at intervals. The wrapped fabric should then be fully immersed in the dye and left for at least an hour. When the time has passed the fabric should be removed from the dye and washed in cold water until the water runs clear at which time the elastic bands can be cut away and the fabric opened out flat and left to dry. The starburst pattern is easy to recognize and can be used on T shirts, cushions, bags etc. To dye with more than one colour, immerse the tied fabric first in a light dye, rise until the water runs clear but do not remove the elastic bands.

Add more elastic bands to the wet fabric in the same way as before and then immerse the fabric in a darker coloured dye. When the second hour has elapsed, remove the fabric, rinse and cut away the elastic bands to reveal a two coloured starburst which should be allowed to dry flat.