Tie Dye Shirt: Modern Tie Dye Design | Catherine Ruhl | Skillshare

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Tie Dye Shirt: Modern Tie Dye Design

teacher avatar Catherine Ruhl, Textile Designer and YouTuber

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Intro to Modern Tie Dye


    • 2.

      Tie Dye Supply List and Resource Page


    • 3.

      Shibori Folding for Tie Dye


    • 4.

      Soda Ash Soak Before Dyeing


    • 5.

      Mixing and Applying Dye


    • 6.

      Opening and Washing your Tie Dye


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About This Class

This class will show you how to dye a t-shirt with tie dyes. I love to make modern tie dye patterns with traditional shibori folding patterns and modern color palettes.  I’m using one of my favorite shibori folding techniques that used paint sticks and string. Typically shibori is made with one color but I am going to use a multicolor palette for the tie dye design.  This pattern can be dyed with any tie dye kit or with dyes that you buy separately.  I will go over the tie dye supplies, shibori folding instructions, prepping your shirt with fixative, mixing the dyes, applying the tie dyes on the fabric and laundry instructions.  

Each step is broken up in to separate video and there is a written instructions in the "Class Project" section of this course.  

Meet Your Teacher

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Catherine Ruhl

Textile Designer and YouTuber

Level: Beginner

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1. Intro to Modern Tie Dye: Hi everyone. My name is Catherine Ruhl and I am a textile designer and YouTuber. I teach online Shibori tie-dye classes and in-person classes here in New York City. Today, I'm going to go over a really fun modern tie-dye pattern for a teacher. This is what it looks like. I like to play with tie-dye and use modern palates with traditional shibori folds to give it a little bit of not-so-typical tie-dye twist. Shibori is traditionally from Japan and it's with indigo dye. Usually, it's just blue and white. But there's a lot of really beautiful folds that come from shibori and you can use those also with tie-dye. I'm going to be using a berry palette today, but you can use any colors you like, and you can even use a kit if you have one. The sky is the limit. This is a very easy pattern and it is suitable for beginners, you can even do it with your kids. It's really fun to do outside. If you're going to do it inside, I'd recommend putting down a drop cloth. I'm going to show you step-by-step instructions and I'm going to go over supplies, then I'm going to go over folding instructions. Then I'm going to go over how to prep your fabric, how did dye your fabric, and then laundry instructions. It's going to be a lot of fun. The next video is going to be the supply overview. Let's get started. 2. Tie Dye Supply List and Resource Page: I'm going to go over the supplies you're going to need to do this tie-dye T-shirt. The first thing is the T-shirt. The T-shirt is 100 percent cotton, the one I'm working with, and it's just like Fruit of the Loom. I think I got it in a six-pack, so it's just a real basic T-Shirt. If you use a T-shirt that has a little stretch in it, that's fine. You can probably have up to five percent spandex, or if it has rayon or some other kind of natural fiber, that's fine. Just stay away from polyester because polyester does not dye. It'll look like it's dyed, but then when you wash it, it'll all just wash out and you'll be super disappointed. The next thing you're going to need are some gloves, scissors, string, paint sticks, and soda ash. You're going to need about two-thirds of a cup of soda ash. This is more than that. But the soda ash is a really important step to make sure that the color sticks to the fabric. You're going to need a bucket and a stir stick to mix up your soda ash. You're going to need some squeeze bottles. I have these squeeze bottles that I reuse all the time for tie-dye. I'm going to be mixing my own colors. I have eggplant bubble gum, brush steel, and amethyst from Dharma Trading. You can use any kind of Procion dyes. You can even just get a tie-dye kit if you want. It's up to you, but these are the colors I'm going to be using for this color. I am going to be using a rag also, just to have on hand because it can get messy. You're going to need some cling wrap to wrap up your tie-dye after you're done folding it. I like to use Dawn for washing my tie-dye afterwards. I also have a drop cloth down, which is going to really keep the space tidy. If you're doing it outside, you might want to have a tarp or a drop cloth too just to keep the area contained. That is the supply list for this shirt. The next video is going to be folding instructions. 3. Shibori Folding for Tie Dye: Now it's time to fold the t-shirt, but before I even got to this point, I pre-washed my t-shirt. I just want to stress to make sure to pre-wash whatever it is you're dying. If it's brand new, it has sizing on it, which is what they put on it in the factory to make sure that it looks nice at the store. If it's an older t-shirt that you've worn before, just make sure it's clean and there's no dirt and oil. That'll help the dye to stick to the fibers better. I'm going to block my t-shirt, meaning lay it flat and match up the seams, and then I'm going to fold it into center front with the front on top. I'm just matching up the seams on the sleeves and the hem and the side seams as best I can. It's a little wrinkly when it's dry, but that's all right. Now, I'm going to accordion fold a long skinny rectangle and I'm going to make it about the same size as the paint sticks, but I want it to be about half an inch on either side of the long side of the paint sticks. I'm going to fold it once towards me and then once away from me and then keep going. That's what I mean when I say accordion fold. This is going to make sure that the dye is evenly distributed. I'm just going to keep folding it until the entire half of the t-shirt is stacked up on top of itself in that rectangular shape and I'm going to work the sleeves in. There's about half an inch on either side of that paint stick, so you can just periodically check. I'm turning it over and I'm going to continue to accordion fold the other half of the t-shirt now. It's a little easier once you get the first part folded because you just follow the stack that you've already established, and I just go slow to make sure that all the wrinkles are out and it's as smooth as it can be. I'm just making sure to smooth at all the wrinkles as I go and not knock over the stack because it's getting tall. As I come to the end, if it doesn't match up perfectly with the other side, see how the side seam is hitting the middle of that rectangular stack. That's okay. It's more important that the folded edges all line up. Now I'm going to put one paint stick on top of my stack of fabric and I'm going to turn it over and then put the other paint stick on the bottom. Make sure they're aligned up evenly on both sides and then grab your string and tie a knot in the middle of the paint sticks. I'm going to tie a double knot and I'm going to leave a little tail so that I have something to tie the other end on the string off with when I'm done wrapping it all up. I'm just going to make sure it's nice and tight, and then I'm going to start to wrap it around the paint sticks and I'm going to do one pass to the end of the paint sticks and I'm pulling the string tight each time to make sure it's as tight as it can go. Then once I get to the end of the paint sticks, I pivot back around and go towards the center of the paint sticks. Then I'm just going to pass the center knot and go to the other end, and I'm just pulling it tight making sure not to break the string, but making it as tight as it can get. Then once I get to the end of the paint sticks on the other side, I turn around and come back to the middle. The tighter you tie the string, the more resist you're going to get, meaning there's going to be more white. If you want a lot of white, just make sure to really tie the string tight. Then I have my tail here and I'm going to just trim it off and tie it off with another double knot, and then it's ready to go into the soda ash solution before we start to dye and that is the next video. Here's a little close up of the t-shirt before I put it in the soda ash. You can see the sleeves are sticking out on top, so I put the paint sticks right below the arm holes and then I left a little bit of space on the hem. You can play with the placement of your paint sticks for a different result. 4. Soda Ash Soak Before Dyeing: I'm mixing up my soda ash now, I have about a gallon and a half of water. Soda ash is an important step because it prepares the fabric to receive the dye and it helped the die to stay more color fast. A lot of the kids come with soda ash packets. If you have one, just follow the directions. When I'm mixing up my own soda ash, I usually use about two-thirds of a cup of soda ash for a gallon and a half. If there's clumps on that bottom, just break them up. That happens pretty normally. Just make sure it gets nice and stirred. Now I'm going to add my piece to the soda ash solution and I just want to make sure it gets totally wet and I'm going to leave it in the solution one way for 10 minutes and then flip it over for another 10 minutes just to make sure that it gets even soaking time on both sides since it's just a little too big for the bucket. 5. Mixing and Applying Dye: While your soda ash solution is going to work on your piece, it's time to set up a drop cloth and mix up your dyes. I'm using Dharma dyes and I'm using 175 milligrams of dye and half a cup of water. That's a general rule of thumb when it comes to them. For me, you can play with the different ratios to make it lighter and darker and some colors need more dye just depending, like usually navy and black. You can go to my resources link to see the exact colors and dyes that I'm using and materials. If you're using a kit, you just have to follow the instructions and mix up the dyes according to the kit's instructions. Now my piece has been soaking for 20 minutes and I can take it out of the soda ash solution. I'm bringing it out because I want it to be damp and not too wet. I want to make sure that the dye will get soaked up and I'm putting it on my drop cloth and make sure to wear your gloves too; soda ash and dye are very hard on your hands. I've mixed up all of my dyes and I'm ready to start laying down the dye. I'm using bubblegum, brushed steel, eggplant, amethyst, and hydrangea. You can use more colors or less colors, it's totally up to you. These are just the colors I'm using today. Whenever I start putting down color, I try to start slowly because it can get sucked up by the damp fabric and spread and bleed. I just want to make sure I go slow and then work my way through all the fabric, making sure to get into all folds. You can play with different color combinations and for this one, I wanted to do more pinks and purples with a neutral color. I really like using neutral colors when it comes to tie-dye. I think it anchors all the colors and it just gives it a nice modern look. There's the brushed steel and I'm using, and I'm going to make it go into the hydrangea now and I'm using the bubblegum to blend it and soften it. The bubble gum is a lot lighter than all the other colors. I'm just using it to blend them all together. Now I'm turning it around and do the top. I'm going to do a little bit more pink on the top and then coming in with the amethyst, which has a little bit more of a magenta color. I'm just doing a gradient of neutrals and pinks, just making sure to get plenty of coverage on that top part of the t-shirt. Tie-dye is a really fun thing, it reminds me of watercolor because it's all about the negative space and I like to play with the negative space and make sure I have an even distribution of negative space and color when I'm doing tie-dye. Or that's my favorite way to do it. But I have to say there is always an element of surprise when you're doing tie-dye. If something comes out the way that you didn't expect and you don't like it, you can always re-dye it. Just keep that in mind when you're doing tie-dye. Here it is. It's all ready to get wrapped up. I'm just clean up my space and I'm going to wrap it with cling wrap. It's important to wrap it with cling wrap to keep it wet overnight and you're going to want to let it soak for 6-8 hours minimum and this is just going to help the dye to really get into the fibers and set. You just want to really wrap it up so that the air is not drying out your tie-dye and just let it sit. This is the hardest part, you have to wait and be patient to open up your tie-dye. 6. Opening and Washing your Tie Dye: Now it's time for the most exciting part of any tie-dye project, taking it apart and seeing how it looks. I'm going to unwrap the piece, and I'm going to untie it with the string. Just checking out to see how it looks. I'm going to cut it really carefully because I don't want to cut my t-shirt. Once you take it apart, you want to make sure you rinse it with cold immediately until the water runs clear and then wash it immediately, because you don't want the dye to bleed into the white parts of your pattern. Here it is. I think it turned out awesome. I love the gradient of the colors and the mixture of the gray in there. It's wet, so it will fade a little bit after it's rinsed and washed and dried, but I'm really happy with the way it turned out. Here it is. After it's been washed and dried, I rinsed it on cold until the water was clear, and then I washed it on hot with Dawn or you can use Synthrapol and then dried it on hot. If you use the Dawn to wash your shirt, just use a very small amount because it can get very [inaudible], and be sure to dry it on hot to set the dye. Thank you guys so much for taking my class. Be sure to follow me so that you can see when I publish new videos. Also, if you make this shirt, be sure to put it in the class projects. I love to see what everyone is dying. See you next time.