Setting Tie Dye?

How do you set tie dye?

By Susan from Angleton, TX


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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 213 Posts
June 15, 20091 found this helpful
Best Answer

It's really all about the dye you use in the first place. Never use "Rit" because it's a "fugitive" dye (like indigo or blue jeans are) That means it fades with washing & from sunshine. The best brand is Procion. It stays true & bright. It's a "Fiber reactive dye". Fiber reactive dyes, like Procion MX, bond with the fiber at a molecular level, becoming chemically part of the fabric. This is the brand that professional tye-dyers use! Read more about it at this URL:


Procion: The Best Dye for Tie Dying

* If you've already dyed your things, then by all means heat-set your dyed fabric. Either with an iron or in a very hot dryer. When you heat set be careful you don't damage your ironing board with dye. Put an open paper bag over the ironing board Then another one over the tie-dye to help absorb any extra dye. Don't use newspaper or the ink will get on your tie-dye & the ironing board. Also each time you wash your item put about half a cup of any kind of Vinegar in the rinse water. The Vinegar helps set the dye, but nothing takes the place of a quality dye.

Another dye that's fun for kids is "Sun Painting" with "InkoDye". This special dye goes on clear then turns bright & permanent with the UV rays from the sun (or you can use it inside with heat). With this solar dye you have to use only 100% cotton or rayon fabrics. This is really fun to do outside on the lawn with kids (in their old bathing suits). You can either dip the fabric into the dye or use a paintbrush to apply it for a different look.


This dye isn't as bright as or as permanent as the Procion I mentioned above but the kids love the magic of painting it on clear & watching the color come to life before your eyes! The coolest thing to do with kids is buy a 100% cotton flat sheet at the thrift store & let the kids have their way with it, paining their own colorful sheet!

"Jacquard" is another quality company. They sell kits of their colors at Joann's fabrics & you can use the 40% off coupon. Here's one of their products. It looks, feels & works like a dye, but it's actually a paint:

"Tea Juice Markers" are also a fun way to go (especially for kids) They need to be heat set with an iron before wearing:


For complete directions on anything about dying, search the web site or call them, these guys are super-friendly & know everything about dyes!

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 846 Posts
June 17, 20090 found this helpful

After tie dye, whether using a standard dye or red wine, mustard, ketchup, crayons or kool-aid, etc., allow fabric to dry, then iron and allow fabric to 'set' for a day afterwards.

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