Tie-dye is really having a moment rn. You can’t go on insta without copping a load of muted tie-dye sweats, swirly tees, and in-your-face socks. But why spend your money on it, when you can easily make your own. It’s surprisingly easy and super fun. And, let’s face it you’ve got some time on your hands to be creative right now.
Can’t get hold of any dye? Not a fan of super bright colours? No problem. Here’s how to tie dye using fruit and veggies that you can easily pick up in your local corner shop. Plus brownie points all round for being eco-friendly.
WHAT YOU NEED:
- Vegetables/fruit – I used beetroot (pink), red cabbage (purple) and turmeric (yellow)
- White vinegar
- Elastic bands or nylon twine
- Sandwich bags (use biodegradable if poss)
- Newspaper to cover your surface
- Cotton clothing (manmade fibres don’t hold dye well)
- Large bowls for holding the dye
- A squirty bottle if you want to make patterns
1. Pick your dyes
You can use beets, red cabbage and turmeric. Roughly 1 cup veggies per 2 of water, or one 1 tsp per cup for turmeric. Slice your veggies and boil for about an hour. Leave the mixture to cool and splash a bit of white vinegar in to help it hold the colour.
2. Wet your whites
Ideally pop your clothes in the wash with a cupful of white vinegar to remove any dirt, stains or washing-powder residue. We suggest trying on t-shirts, vests, socks or pillowcases before you go straight in on that brand new dress, just in case… Need some cute vests and tees to tie-dye? We got you!
Look for natural cotton/linen materials as man-made fibres don’t hold the dye so well.
3. Pick your pattern
Scrunch/twist/twirl away. We went for a scrunchy-twist FYI.
4. Prep your space
Pour your cooled dyes into bowls (big enough to dip your clothes into) put newspaper down, pop your mum’s apron on, it’s about to get messy.
5. Time to tie-dye
Dip, splash, dollop your dyes on. You can fully submerge your clothes for an all over colour, do half and half or go ombre. Add as many colours as you wish. Even the most die-hard minimalist will probably go wild here.
6. Leave them to dry
Pop each piece in a separate bag to dry so it doesn’t bleed colour over anything. Use biodegradable if possible, because single use plastic isn’t cool. If you can’t get biodegradable bags, just wash your bags out after and reuse – these dyes are totally edible so won’t cause any harm unlike chemical dyes.
Either rinse in cool water for muted tones (FYI fill a bucket with cool water to rinse as turmeric can stain porcelain) or hang straight out to dry for more vibrant ones. If you want the colours to be super bright, iron once dry, as heat seals the colour in. Wear and wash separately the first few times in case of any colour leaking over the rest of your washing.
8. Wear them!
You made them. So pop on your tie-dye masterpiece, and take some snaps for the gram. Oh and don’t forget to wash your hands, sink etc, as dye stains (and corona obvs).