Swirl Tie Dye Pattern

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July 2, 2014

Swirl Tie Dye PatternWhile the swirl pattern looks complicated, but it is actually pretty easy to make.



  • tie dye kit (dye, gloves, rubber bands)
  • white t-shirt
  • plastic gallon bag
  • plastic (to cover work surface)
  • bucket, optional


  1. You have two options to get started. If you prewash your shirt, you will want to leave it wet and work with it straight out of the washer. If your shirt is already dry you will want to get it wet and wring out any excess water. NOTE: My shirts were dry so I had a bucket of water that I dunked each shirt into.
  2. soak shirt in water
    wring out shirt
  3. Lay the shirt out flat. Then grab hold of the center of the shirt and gently twist it causing the shirt to swirl around the pinched point. Use your other hand to guide the shirt into the swirled shape.
  4. grab center and twist to swirl
    shirt in swirl

  5. Use 3 rubber bands to hold the shirt in the swirl. The rubber bands will segment the shirt into 6 sections.
  6. rubber band shirt into bundle 1
    rubber band shirt into bundle 2
  7. Apply color to each of the 6 sections. You want to apply enough color to penetrate the folds of the shirt, without over saturating it. Turn the bundled shirt over and apply color to the other side.
  8. add color to each section 6
  9. Place the shirt into a gallon bag and zip it shut. Allow the dye to set for a minimum of 6-8 hours. The longer it sets, the more vibrant the colors will be.
  10. put shirt into plastic bag

  11. Rinse the shirt under cold water, until the water runs clear. Remove the rubber bands and rinse a little more. Wring out excess water.
  12. rinse shirt to remove dye
    remove rubber bands
    rinse shirt until water runs clear
  13. Place in the washing machine. Wash with a little soap, white vinegar (optional) and HOT water. For a top loader: set it for the largest load. For a front loader: set it on the longest setting and do a second rinse. Dry the shirt in the dryer.
  14. wash in washing machine
    finished shirt 1
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August 3, 2014

While the swirl pattern looks complicated, but it is actually pretty easy to make. Learn how to do it with this short video.

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? Yes
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