The best tie dye patterns

Updated April 17, 2017

The best tie dye patterns are wonderfully colourful and use individual or combined folding techniques to create unique designs. Tie-dying is the process of decorating a surface by folding and binding items with rubber bands into different patterns and dyeing the material in different sections and colours. Artists tie the material to prevent the entire material from being dyed, leaving interesting white spaces in the design.

Spirals and Circles

The most common tie dye patterns are spirals and circles. However, that doesn't mean they have to be boring. Combining patterns, colours and different sizes of spirals and circles can create outstanding and eye-catching tie dye designs. Spiral and circle patterns lend themselves to any material and can be used on dresses, shirts, curtains and bed linens -- basically anything you can fold and wrap with a rubber band and dip into dye.


Striped tie dye patterns are one of the easiest designs to learn and master. However, variations of the folds and applications of the colour can render very unique patterns and interesting effects. Many different colour combinations have been used throughout history to adorn the clothing of different cultures like those in Africa and India. Subtle and multiple stripes can take on golden hues that reflect the colours of the earth. Or you can create stripes with intense, bold colours that command attention.


Tie dye rosettes can be applied in multiple patterns and make outstanding designs using single colours or multiple colour combinations to make a piece of material explode with life. Rosettes can be placed randomly all over a piece of clothing. Or the rosettes can be strategically placed around the bottom of shirts and sleeves. You can also alternate the size of the rosette patterns to bring even more interest to your tie dye project.

Scrunch Patterns

Scrunch patterns are popular tie dye techniques that almost always produce an unexpected design. Although the finished product may look like the simplest tie dye pattern, it is actually one of the most difficult to master. The process involves scrunching large spans of material into a big ball and immersing it into a tub of dye. The hardest part of executing a scrunch design is getting the folds to be somewhat uniform without ending up with a totally dyed garment without white space or ending up with too much white space.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Terry Mulligan has been writing since 2007. As an accomplished artist, decorator and business professional, she enjoys covering art, decor, business management, real estate, education, computers/software/ERP, animal rescue, cooking and self-improvement. Mulligan holds an M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix.