Preparation and Planning for Tye Dye Essay

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To dye a t-shirt you don’t need much more than a big pot, some ingredients from the kitchen or garden and half a day to play with. If you’re in a rush, skip down to our quick dyeing method, which won’t give you such bright results but takes just a couple of hours. What you need: An old, light-coloured cotton t-shirt Elastic bands A big pan that can go on the hob (and isn’t going to be used for food) An old pair of tights An old jam jar Natural ingredients chosen from the list at the end A fixative, such as: washing soda (1 tablespoonful) vinegar (any clear vinegar – 1 tablespoonful) rhubarb leaves (2–3 per t-shirt) alum or iron rock salts from a specialist textile craft supplier (use 8% of the weight of your dry fabric for alum, or 2% for iron) Full dyeing method: 1. Prepare your dye Choose a plant to give you the colour you want, from our colour list below. Chop the plant stuff in to small pieces. Put it in a large pan of water and bring to a slow simmer for about an hour (flower dyes need only half an hour). Let the ‘dye bath’ cool down for another hour. Scoop the plant stuff into the foot of an old pair of tights, tie a knot in the tights, and put them back in the pan. That way, the colour keeps seeping out until you’re ready to actually dye the t-shirt. 2. Prepare your t-shirt Meanwhile, you can be preparing your t-shirt. The t-shirt you want to dye should be clean, so give it a wash if you need to. If you’re planning a tie-dye pattern, use elastic bands to do this, ideally while the material is clean and dry. The bands squeeze the material tightly and stop the dye from reaching certain parts. Gather a handful of the t-shirt at the point where you want the centre of the spiral spider’s web pattern to be and wrap an elastic band very tightly about an inch from the pointed end of the material. Place another elastic band around

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