Tie dye is a popular activity for children because it gives them the opportunity to experiment with different colours and patterns while also creating an item of clothing that they can wear. There are many different techniques for tie dying fabrics and one of the most popular techniques is the marble method. Using different methods of bunching the fabric with marbles, you can create several different effects.
Tie Dye Marble Basics
The key to achieving a colourful and intriguing design when using a marble tie dye technique lies in the saturation of the dye. If you want your shirt to have a light design with some white still visible, use your dye sparingly. Do not soak the entire shirt with dye. When selecting colours for your marble tie dye, keep in mind that once you apply a dark colour you will not be able to dye over it. Light colours like yellow and orange can be overlaid with different colours of dye, but blues, reds and purples cannot.
Spray Bottle Method
Lay the item to be dyed out on a flat surface and place your marbles in the desired pattern. To place a marble, lay it under the item to be dyed and pinch and twist the fabric around the marble, then use a rubber band to secure it. Once you have finished placing all of your marbles, fill several spray bottles with your dye mixtures. Spray the dye onto the item in the desired pattern. For a more distinct marbled pattern, hold the spray bottles close to the marbles to dye those areas, and hold the bottle further away to dye the rest of the fabric.
Bunched Squirt Bottle Method
Place your marbles in the desired pattern on the item to be dyed by putting them under the fabric then pinching and twisting the fabric around the marble. Secure each marble with a rubber band. Once you have placed all your marbles, gather the rest of the fabric around the marbles into a bunch and secure the whole thing with a large rubber band. Fill several squirt bottles with your mixed dyes and use them to dye the fabric. Sprinkle or squirt the dye onto the bunched fabric. Keep in mind that bunching the fabric means that the dye will be more highly concentrated in one area anyway, so you do not need to squirt on a large amount of dye.
Sunburst Marble Method
To create a sunburst effect, place one or several marbles under the item to be dyed. Pinch and gather the fabric around the marble and secure it with a rubber band. Continue to bunch the fabric and add another two or three rubber bands spaced at equal widths apart. Repeat this process for multiple sunburst patterns and, when finished, dye the fabric. The sunburst pattern works best when the entire item is soaked in a single colour of dye, but you may be able to create multicoloured patterns by dipping different sections of the item into different colours.