How to do tape tie-dye

Tired of the old tie-dying methods? Try something new and different by getting out the masking tape and putting on your tee shirt before tie-dying. Place the tape in any arrangement, onto the shirt. Long pieces, short pieces, pieces were torn in half lengthways, can all be stuck to the shirt to give it a unique design after dying.

The tape is so easy to use – try it in different ways on various shirts. Arrange the tape in stripes on the shirt vertically, or horizontally. The stripes can be torn in half to make them skinny and give them irregular edges.

Place the strips on the shirt at all different angles, cris-crossing previous strips. Tear small pieces to put here and there. After the tape is in place, dip the shirt into the dye for the recommended amount of time, or for dark shirts, spray bleach onto the shirt. The tape will prevent the bleach or dyes from setting into those areas, leaving the taped part lighter than the dyed areas, on light-colored shirts, or will leave dark areas on the bleached dark-colored shirts.

Arrange the tape to spell your name, your school name or a funny phrase. Use scissors to cut the tape for smooth edges. There are so many different ways to do this; just experiment with different shirts to get different looks.

Place the tape with newspaper attached, to do only a portion of the shirt. For instance, tape from the right shoulder, down to the left side hem, and attach newspaper to one side of the tape to keep the shirt covered while you sponge dye on the other side. Afterward, turn the newspaper to the other side and die the un-dyed side of the shirt another color.

You can make several different sections by placing the tape, then sponging the dye onto the shirt, between the tape sections. Lay the tape with a newspaper across everything but one sleeve, sponge the dye on, scoot the tape and newspaper over, and then dye the next section, protecting the first section with plastic or newspaper. Continue scooting the tape and newspaper over until you’ve dyed the shirt all the colors.

You can perform the same treatment on things besides tee shirts. Bed linens, pillowcases, jackets, socks, tennis shoes, hats, and other items can all be dyed using the tape method. Other tapes work, like electrical tape or duct tape, but scotch tape will usually allow the dye or the bleach to seep under it.

After dying the clothing, remove the tape and launder the article, using soap and water, but no bleach. Never use bleach on tie-dye.

They now have spray-on dyes which are very colorful, hold up through much laundering, and are very easy to use. Tape shirt and hang on hanger or clothesline, then simply spray the dye onto the desired areas, allow drying, then waiting 48 hours before laundering as usual. When the shirt begins to fade somewhat, after much washing, simply re-spray the dye onto the shirt.

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