That Life Clothing

How To Tie Dye T-shirt With Photos

How To Tie Dye a Spiral T-shirt With Photos

Choosing the right t-shirt to Tie Dye

The best, and only t-shirts I recommend to tie dye for best results are 100% cotton. Anything else and the quality of the end result isn’t desirable up to a high standard. If its a new t-shirt, wash it first so it can connect with the dyes efficiently. 

 That Life Clothing t-shirt

What Dye to use to Tie Dye your t-shirt?

Again, there are many different dyes out there that you can use, you can pick them up from craft stores or online very easy. 

For me personally I use ‘Dylon fabric dye” which has been used on all That Life t-shirts. The cheapest places I’ve seen you can pick the fabric dyes up from are Ebay, so it’s worth checking on there before looking anywhere else.

That Life Clothing tie dye

What other materials and tools you will need for a successful Tie Dye

  • Sodium Bicarbonate (Soda Ash dye fixer in America)
  • Plastic Gloves
  • Plastic Sheeting
  • Paper Towels
  • Squeeze/Squirt Bottles
  • Elastic Bands
  • Plastic Washing Bowl
  • Wire Rack
  • Paper Towels

These are the other materials you will need to successfully create your tie dye t-shirt.

 That Life Clothing materials for tie dye

Now you have everything you need lets create something great ! 

Soak the t-shirt

Empty and fill the sink with warm water, add 1 scoop of Sodium Bicarbonate. Make sure the mixture is fully dissolved before adding the t-shirt. 

That Life Clothing Tie Dye

Add the t-shirt into the sink, INSIDE OUT and leave to soak for 10 minutes.

That Life Clothing tie dye

Squeeze out all excess water, put it in the washer on the spin cycle to get more excess water out of the t-shirt.

That Life Clothing tie dye

Then remove it from the washing machine.

Creating the spiral of the tie dye t-shirt

Place the t-shirt flat face down on a clean hard surface, still with it inside out, also face the front of the design down on the bottom. The reason to face it down on the bottom is that the spiral turns out better on the front than the back.

Find the centre of the t-shirt (just under the arms) in the middle. Pinch both the top and bottom of the t-shirt. While holding on to the pinch, start twisting and folding the t-shirt neatly as you can going around your pinched fingers. While making sure the t-shirt is becoming compact and tight.

Once the spiral is formed, decide how many elastic bands you want to put on to the compact t-shirt, I use the elastic bands as guides on a pie chart to where I want to put different colour dyes. 

That Life Clothing tie dye

Once you’ve carefully placed the elastic bands to hold the t-shirt in place together, turn it over and make sure that all the elastic bands meet and crossover in the centre. 

So for this, I used 3 elastic bands, so it makes 6 triangles as shown in the photo.

That Life Clothing tie dye

Prepare the Tie Dye area and coloured dyes of your choice

At this point you need a bit of space. So firstly place down your plastic sheeting over the area you are going to use. Place your paper towels near by to soak up any spills. 

That Life Clothing tie dye

Put your plastic gloves on, take a squeeze bottle and your dye and add 4 tea spoons of dye powder into the squeeze bottle, and fill with water to halfway for best results, if you want it darker add less water and more water if you want it lighter. Put the lid on then shake for 10 seconds so that the dye and water mix together and the dry powder mixes in and isn’t lumpy.

That Life Clothing tie dye

Now your work station should be set up and prepared.

Tie Dye the t-shirt

Place the t-shirt in the middle of the plastic covering, put your gloves back on and pick the squeeze bottle with your first chosen tie dye colour in it and pour it into the first triangle. Also what I do at this stage to save time, I choose which triangles I am going to place this colour dye in and fill them gaps up. Then repeat with the other colours making sure you’ve done all the edges as well. 

Tie dye t-shirt That Life Clothing

Turn the t-shirt over, and firstly repeat the edges on this side so you know which colour is from the other side, then fill in the rest of the triangles with the appropriate colours, you should match them to the colours on the other side for best effect.

That Life Clothing tie dye

Post Tie Dye

Leave the tie dye’d t-shirt to rest for 10 minutes while you prepare the drying area.

Take the plastic washing up bowl and wire rack, place the wire tray in the washing up bowl. 

Take the t-shirt and place it on top of the plastic wire rack so that excess dye, if it does, drips through into the bowl. 

Place this in a dry area for best measure between 20-24 hours. This is the times which I have found work best for the strongest print.

That Life Clothing tie dye

Clean up the area you have been tie dying in so there’s no stains and dry dye anywhere.

24 hours after Tie Dye

Take your tie dye t-shirt to the sink, run some warm water, rinse the tie dye underneath the running water while carefully removing your elastic bands then once the elastic bands are off, run the cold water tap, until the dye colour runs clear.

That Life Clothing Tie Dye

This means all excess dye has been removed from the t-shirt.

That Life Clothing tie dye


Now once you’ve wowed yourself at your creation, place the t-shirt still inside out on a quick wash, using a little bit of washing liquid.

Once that’s done, take it out of the washing machine and hang it on the washing line, if you can, to air dry.

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Once its dry, take it off the line, iron it on a cool iron, still inside out and then finally turn it the right way round and your unique tie dye creation is ready to wear.




That Life Clothing tie dye

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