Transform a bland skirt into a staple of your bohemian summer wardrobe with a homemade tie-dye project. Make your own skirt from inexpensive fabric or repurposed curtains and sheets, or purchase a skirt in simple linen or cotton duck. Hobby and craft stores sell "blank" clothes ready to dye, paint and otherwise alter, while a simple skirt from a thrift store can offer you a less expensive article of clothing on which to practice. You may also want to practice on scraps of material or rags in the same type of textile as your hippie skirt to perfect your technique.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Simple linen or cotton skirt
- Rubber bands
- Tie-dye kit
- Plastic gloves
- Dust sheets
- Plastic dust sheets
- Rags or material scraps
- Plastic bag
- Washing machine
- Professional textile detergent
Purchase or make a skirt of simple linen or cotton fabric. Purchase scraps of the same or a similar material so you can practice your tie-dyeing technique as well as the colour blends you have selected. Purchase a tie-dye kit or the individual elements for tie dyeing, including coloured dyes, soda ash, plastic bottles, protective gloves, a mask and protective coverings for your workspace.
Fold, scrunch or tie your skirt according to how random or deliberate you want your pattern to be. Use rubber bands or knotted cloth to tie the skirt in small sections, or knot sections of the skirt itself. For crisp and defined patterns, Dharma Trading suggests wetting the skirt and squeezing out the excess water.
Mix soda ash and water to prepare the skirt for dyeing. If you have individual soda ash purchased separately from the dyes, follow the instructions on both the dyes and the soda ash for mixing and soaking. If you purchased an all-in-one tie-dye kit, follow the enclosed instructions for the best results.
Mix and apply your dyes according to the instructions. Follow the guides on the bottles for richer or fainter colours, colour blends and how much to mix to cover your skirt. Dharma Trading suggests using bottles, brushes, sponges or rags to apply the colour, and to mix as many colours as you'd like for a custom skirt.
Place the dyed skirt in a plastic bag and tie or band it tightly. Let it rest, or "cure," for at least four hours, but longer if possible. Twenty-four hours is ideal, especially for cooler climates. Fill a washing machine with hot water and 1/4 cup professional textile detergent, according to Dharma Trading.
Rinse the skirt by running it under cold water to stop the dye process, then rinse it in warm water while you unbind it. Rinse until the water runs clear. Run the skirt through a full wash cycle in the washing machine.
Tips and warnings
- While you can wash several skirts at one time, avoid doing more than four or five because the water will get "muddy."
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