Tap to Read ➤

Tie Dye Techniques and Instructions

Vibhuti Gatha
Tie dye is a world famous art used to imprint colorful designs on the cloth. This story contains some tie dye techniques and instructions to try at home.
Tie dye is popular in many parts of the world. It is a traditional method for dyeing fabrics. Once associated with hippie culture, it has now become a fashion statement. It is simple and fun, and can be easily tried at home to. On that note, this article gives you some tie dye techniques and instructions to follow and use this beautiful art.


Tie dye is a form of resist dyeing. Here, the fabric is folded in a pattern and is tied with a rubber or string. Then, dye is applied to the tied part of the fabric. Different colors are applied to different sections of the fabric. Ties prevent dyes from reaching all around the fabric.
After the dye is dried, ties are opened and the fabric is rinsed in cold water. And the dyes are set by creating scintillating design on the fabric. They work well on natural fabrics like cotton.


Using this technique, you can create vivid patterns and design. You can color your shirts, skirts, bed sheet, pillow covers, or curtains in different patterns. Patterns popular are circles, stripes, v-shape, random, and pleats.


Things Required
  • Buckets
  • Squeeze bottle
  • Soda ash
  • Rubber bands
  • Gloves
  • Water
  • Fabric dye
  • Fabric
Tying Procedure
  • Take a white fabric, and lay it on a flat surface.
  • Grab the center of the fabric, and slowly lift it up from the center.
  • Gently run your hand on the fabric to gather it.
  • Wrap the rubber band around the fabric, right below the part you held when you lifted it.
  • Now, add several rubber bands around the fabric, with a gap of 1 - 2 inches.
Dyeing Procedure
  • After you have tied the fabric, prepare the soda ash solution. Mix 8 oz. of soda ash per gallon of water.
  • Soak the tied fabric for 5-15 minutes. Then, take out the fabric and squeeze it.
  • Wear the hand gloves and prepare the dye as per the manufacturer's instructions, and fill the solution in the squeeze bottle. Apply different color dyes using squeeze bottle.
  • Put the fabric in the plastic bag. And, let it set for at least 24 hrs.
  • After it has set, rinse the fabric with salt water (preferably, cold water) until the dye is removed.
  • Squeeze the water from the fabric and let it dry in shade.
  • Wear the finished product with pride.

Different Tying Techniques

Knot Tying: It is the most simple method. Hold the fabric at both the ends and twist it in the form of long rope. Tie a knot into the fabric, make as many knots as possible at equal distances.
Tighten these knots in such a way that they do not damage your fabric. You can tie rubber bands or strings over the knot to add fine lines in the pattern. This pattern works well in light weight material.
Small circles: For small circles, pinch about 2-3 inches of the fabric. Insert marble piece and tie it with rubber band or string to hold secure. You can make many small circles in a particular pattern over the fabric.
Stripes: Lay down the fabric on the floor. With loose hands, roll the fabric into long tube. Tightly wrap strings or rubber bands around the fabric.
Pleats: Lay down your fabric, and using both hands, pinch the fabric with the thumb and forefinger placed at an inch or two apart. Continue making pleats till the end of fabric. Tie fabric with the rubber band.
Spiral: Lay down the fabric over the flat surface. Pinch a section of your fabric, and twist it to get spirals. Continue twisting until the fabric takes the shape of a pancake. Tie the fabric with rubber bands without disturbing the pancake shape.
V shape: Lay down the shirt, fold it in half vertically. Draw a line from shoulder area down to the center of the fold. Fan fold the shirt along the line. Bound the shirt with rubber bands to keep the shape of the shirt. You can apply three different colors to get the colorful v shape.
Start with simple patterns, and then, slowly try the hard ones. You can make your fabric as colorful as you want by using 3 or more colors. For beginners, it is advisable to use only primary colors. Keep the color wheel in mind while choosing the colors.
Explore your imagination and try design patterns of your own. The end result can only be predicted after a lot of experience, and then, you will notice that every product that you make comes out to be unique.