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How to Prepare Squeeze Bottles for Tie Dyeing

Learn how to prepare squeeze bottles for tie dyeing in this Howcast video.


One of my favorite techniques using fiber reactive dyes is dyeing using squeeze bottles. This technique really allows you to apply different colors at the same time, so think about it like pretty much painting with dyes, and it can be pretty cool. So I'm going to show you how to prepare the dye solution that will go into the squeeze bottle. For this technique you need to use the dye like in all the other techniques, but also you need to use a dye assistant called urea.

Urea pretty much just helps the dye to remain moist and you'll see later why it's important. The proportion of urea that you'll use is seven tablespoons per cup. So you just adjust it for how big you're making your squeeze bottles. Mine is pretty small, so it will be a little bit less than a cup, so I'm going to adjust the quantity that I'll use. So we'll start by dissolving the urea in water and making sure that it's pretty dissolved. Sometimes it takes a little bit, but you want to make sure that all of it has been dissolved.

Okay, I think it's pretty good. And then you'll add your dye. Again, if you want your color to be lighter you add a little, if you want a color to be darker you add more. I always think it's a good idea to add a little bit and then correct the color if you want it to be stronger. So I'm going to start with half of a teaspoon. I'm going to add it to my urea water and use my whiskers again to mix it. After it's all been dissolved you'll use a funnel to pass it to your squeeze bottle.

This is a part that sometimes gets a little messy, so make sure you've protected your table and to say really focused. You place your funnel in the bottle and you're just going to fill it up. I normally leave a little bit of room, in case I want to correct my color, and want to add a little bit more dye. So after you put it in, you close it, I always like to give it a final stir. Then my favorite way to test the colors, so I don't waste fabric, is just use plain white paper towels.

They're the closest as you'll get to your fabric and then you can see if your color is light or dark. As you can see, I went for a lighter shade. If I wanted it dark I could straight add a little bit of dye into the bottle or dissolve a small quantity again, and then fill up the rest with the more concentrated one. I already made two other colors that are pretty dark. So I like normally to counterbalance darker colors with lighter colors, so I'm going to keep my yellow in this lighter shade. And this is how you prepare the squeeze bottles for tie dyeing.

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