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Topic: Tie Dyed Onesies and T-shirts - UPDATED!  (Read 1772 times)
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HippieKender
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« on: December 23, 2010 10:04:33 AM »

I haven't tie-dyed since my sophomore year of high school, but the other day I got it stuck in my head that I NEED to tie-dye.... right NOW!  I had won a contest awhile back so I have tons of Rit dye and 3 onesies that I wasn't sure what to do with.  The onesies will go to a friend who just had a baby.
The first 2 onesies were just scrunched up then dyed.  


They were fun and all, but I wanted some swirl patterns, so I dyed the last onesie and a white t-shirt I found.


The colors washed out.  I'm not sure if I didn't leave the dye on long enough (I was impatient), or if I should have washed in cold instead of warm, or if it's because I didn't soak in soda ash, or if it's just the nature of rit dye.

Son and Daughter were intrigued after seeing the first few attempts, and ran to grab me white t-shirts.  They got to pick the colors for the last batch.


Daughter's came out okay, but son's washed out.  
Any tips for getting those vibrant colors?  Is Rit dye not a good choice?  I used it because I have a ton.  I washed out the sizing from the clothes before dyeing so the only things I can think of are: water temp when rinsing/washing, my lack of soda ash, or the type of dye.
I'm still pleased with the results, and I had tons of fun in the process, but I was hoping for more vibrant colors.

Update: Microwaving when tie-dying with RIT dye makes a HUGE difference!


After reading some comments I decided to try a new technique - the microwave! I did not use soda ash.  I squirted the dye on the shirts, let them sit for a couple mins (long enough to wash my hands and rinse out the squirt bottles).  Then I put them in gallon size ziplock baggies.  I closed the baggies and microwaved for 1 minute. My microwave is pretty powerful, so if yours takes longer to heat food you might want to go for longer.  Keep an eye on it though. One of the bags melted a little at the top corner. Didn't make a hole, thank goodness! I then let the shirts cool back down to room temperature before rinsing out and tossing into the washing machine.
The picture I posted shows the difference the microwave makes! I was surprised. The colors are rich and dark (the overall color scheme was supposed to be dark, by request) and didn't fade much when washing.  I did wash on cold and will tell the guys who get these shirts to wash on cold also.
What do you think??
« Last Edit: January 06, 2011 08:45:07 AM by HippieKender » THIS ROCKS   Logged

edelC
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« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2010 10:51:39 AM »

I love tie dyeing too, but always use the soda ash and fibre reactive dyes, they tend to be fast and don't wash out as much..

check out this thread for rit and soda ash...the microwave bit at the end sounds like it might be best
http://www.finishing.com/105/33.shtml
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HippieKender
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« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2010 11:05:54 AM »

Awesome, thanks!  I will have to read more about the microwave method. 
I was wondering if it had something to do with heat-setting the dye, so I threw my son's shirt in the dryer before washing it (but after rinsing it), but it still faded. I'll have to see if I can scrounge up a few more white t-shirts and have another go at it.
I have a feeling I am going to be taking advantage of the after-holiday sales to buy all the white shirts I can find, ha ha!
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« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2010 11:20:46 AM »

I find that even with the fibre reactive dyes, where the chemical reaction happens very fast, if I leave the shirts a long time, rather than getting impatient...the colours are always much better...its all down to that damn patience thing again
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« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2010 12:29:00 PM »

hee, I know the feeling!  I have also dug around (in the outgrown kids clothes mostly) for white clothes...

I really like the look of the faded out shirt, anyway.  And your daughter's shirt is fabulous!

I think, from the times I did Rit dyeing, that I just washed it after using it, though I was... bucket dyeing (?) oh, there is a word for that!  I don't think you need to dry it or even heat set it, I did my dyeing outside with the hose, as I recall.  For the procion dyes, most of them can be used cold, except the ones that have turquoise in them.
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HippieKender
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« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2010 12:46:17 PM »

Thanks Grin
I think rit dye needs the heat.  Usually you would heat the water to mix the dye with, but since I didn't do that, microwaving the freshly dyed shirts might work.  I just found 3 more t-shirts so I will be dyeing them (probably today ha ha).  I was on the phone with hubby when I found them and I may have been a little too excited about finding plain white t-shirts. Cheesy
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Abbeeroad
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« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2010 07:30:14 AM »

Hey!  Sorry I am late to the party, not sure if you will still find my comments useful or not...

I use RIT a lot because of the convenience factor and find I also never really get the vibrant color I've seen in the craft fairs.  I think it is the type of dye.  As Edel C mentioned, fiber reactive dyes are the way to go.  I have yet to try them, too, so I keep trying with the RIT.  I have been happy with the results, but never really "wow-ed."  One of these days I'll put an order into Dharma.

Here's what I do, in case it is useful:

Soak in washing soda (soda ash) dissolved in hot water for 1 hr prior to dyeing.  Someone is the Q&A section said this isn't necessary with RIT, but I always do it anyway.

I use a lot of dye.  I dissolve ~half a box of RIT in hot water in a small squeeze bottle (enough liquid dye for 2-3 shirts if I really saturate).  I used to do the stove top thing, but not anymore.  Now I just add the powder to the bottle and fill it up with hot water from the tap (as hot as it will go).  Shake it up and then apply to "tied" shirt.  I do this in the sink over a rack for cooling cookies or baked goods and that keeps the excess dye from pooling around my shirt.

When shirt is sufficiently soaked, I put it on newspaper for ~1-2 hrs  to allow excess dye to siphon off.  Then I place in a plastic bag (or plastic wrap) overnight to "cure."  I usually put the curing shirts in the laundry room as this is where the furnace is and tends to be the hottest room in the house.  The heat helps the colors "set."  I unwrap the shirts after 12 - 24 hours (again, as Edel C said, it's all about patience) then either line dry or wash right away.  If you line dry you could pop the shirts in the dryer or iron them to add an additional "heat setting" step before washing.

You will still get some fading, and RIT will continue to fade over repeated washings, but it might be a little better.

I still think your shirts came out great!  I love tie dye on kids...my son almost always has something on that's tie-dyed.

Best of luck...let us know how you do/if you find any additional tricks!!
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HippieKender
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« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2010 09:02:58 AM »

Awesome!  Thanks for all the tips!  i did scrounge around and find 3 brand new men's white t-shirts. They are just begging to be tie-dyed!  So, I am going to try again.
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Abbeeroad
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« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2010 09:09:49 AM »

I'm really interested in EdelC's microwave tip, too...if you give that a try definitely keep us posted!
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« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2010 03:04:55 AM »

i am thinking of trying the microwave tip on fibre reactive dyes too, as I never have patience to wait for long enough and always take them out too soon!..some really useful information there abbeeroad
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HippieKender
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« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2011 08:42:49 AM »

Update: Microwaving when tie-dying with RIT dye makes a HUGE difference!


I did not use soda ash.  I squirted the dye on the shirts, let them sit for a couple mins (long enough to wash my hands and rinse out the squirt bottles).  Then I put them in gallon size ziplock baggies.  I closed the baggies and microwaved for 1 minute. My microwave is pretty powerful, so if yours takes longer to heat food you might want to go for longer.  Keep an eye on it though. One of the bags melted a little at the top corner. Didn't make a hole, thank goodness! I then let the shirts cool back down to room temperature before rinsing out and tossing into the washing machine.
The picture I posted shows the difference the microwave makes! I was surprised. The colors are rich and dark (the overall color scheme was supposed to be dark, by request) and didn't fade much when washing.  I did wash on cold and will tell the guys who get these shirts to wash on cold also.
What do you think??
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Abbeeroad
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« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2011 11:03:21 AM »

Wow!  What a difference!  These look great!  Great tip, EdelC!!!

Great dyeing HippieKender!
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« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2011 01:25:20 PM »

wow.  craziness.  huh.

I like your new color scheme.   Smiley
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edelC
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« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2011 12:22:09 PM »

hey these are great, the colours are so much more intense..
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