Resist Dying, commonly called tie-dying, is an easy and fun technique anyone can experiment with and come out with a successful result. Because the results are unpredictable, each dye job is unique and exciting.
I love resist dying, so I’m very excited to be able to share a beautiful basic scarf dye that you’ll enjoy using as a cover up this summer. Try it out!
1. A circle scarf created from natural fibers (cotton or linen), A fabric dye of your choice (I used Dylon which comes in tins and pouches), rubber bands, a glass or enamel pot, a measuring cup, salt, a spoon or tongs to stir, access to a sink, an old towel to protect your work surface, rubber gloves to protect your skin from being dyed.
2-3.Prepare your scarf by lying it flat and deciding where you’d like to place your rubber bands. Create stripes of negative space (the color of your original scarf) by tying rubber bands tightly around that area.
4-5. For a more random pattern, twist your fabric as tightly as possible. Allow it to coil until you cannot twist any more. Secure the coil with rubber bands. I enjoy creating a combination of lines and random patterns for a more intentional design.
6. Prepare your dye by mixing according to your dye package instructions. Some dyes are meant to be hot, and others are cold water ones. Depending on the dye you have chosen, you may need to use salt as a fixative so your dye will not bleed out in the wash.
Pay attention to the measurements on the package, and the amounts of water you require. I have been dying for years, so I do this by eye, and once you are familiar with the process, you can actually achieve some unique results by NOT following directions. It’s fun to experiment.
Once your bath is prepared, place your tied scarf into the bath and allow it to soak up the dye. Stir and turn it over a few times to make sure all air bubbles are being released and that all the fabric is receiving the dye. Depending on the dye you are using, you will leave the fabric in the dye mix for 20 to 40 minutes.
7-8. Here’s the best part! Remove the scarf carefully from the dye pot and place it in your sink. Run it under cool water to remove excess dye, and carefully remove all rubber bands by unwinding (they’re re-usable) or cutting.
9. You can choose to machine wash your new item to remove excess dye, or hand wash in cool water. Do not use detergent during this first wash, but make sure the water runs clear before squeezing out all excess water.
Dyed clothing (especially natural fibers) will gradually fade and loose color in the wash over time. Hand washing and hang drying is a great option to reduce fading. If you choose to machine wash, wash your fresh dyes alone for the first cycle, and with like colors then on.
Hang dry your dye work, and admire its design. I love when spring arrives, because that’s a great time to hang freshly dyed garments out on the line in the bright warm sunshine.