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How to Make Tie Dye Spirals

Learn how to make tie dye spirals in this Howcast video.


I'm teaching you how to do a spiral using tie dye, this time. As you can see you follow the spiral line around here in the pattern, and that is actually created by pinching the fabric and swirling it around, and it's the swirling that will create the spiral. You can see with my motion I'm already creating a spiral, too. So I'm going to showcase using a piece of wet fabric.

Even though you should always start with your fabric wet for dying, the spiral is much, much easier to do if you really start with it wet. So in other techniques you can first do the tie and the resist and then soak them in water. For this one I really recommend doing it while it's wet. So you want to pinch in the center of your spiral and keep holding on to that and then with your other hand, you want to sort of swirl the fabric around.

The fabric will kind of want to move in it's own way and you should respect that. In the end you finish with something that kind of looks like a cinnamon roll a little bit, and on the bottom side normally, it's much clearer the spiral shape. And then you want to use either cords or rubber bands to keep it gathered like this. And you'll lose a little bit of its shape, but you also don't want the rubber bands to be super-tight in here.

So just enough to help it keep the shape that it has. Maybe my first rubber band is too tight, I'm going to undo it. I think it's better and in the end those just look like a tied spiral. At this point you could dunk it in a dye bath that you have previously prepared. Like I have this one I prepared as usual, just by mixing the dye with water and some dye activator, such as soda ash. In that case you'll dunk it and you let it sit for one hour.

After one hour you remove the ties, wash it, and you're ready to go. The other thing you can do when you do the spiral that I'm going to show you... You don't want to have strings on your fabric, too. I'm going to show you now is in case you wanted to do a spiral with more than one color. So again, pinching in the center of your spiral, swirling the fabric around, sort of helping it out with your other hand. And then I'm just going to use my squeeze bottles for this one.

So I'm going to pick; maybe I'm picking red, a yellow, maybe I'll just keep it to two colors. For this technique, because there's no risk of the fabric falling apart when you put it in a dye bath, so you don't need to tie it. So your spiral will be able to like keep more of the spiral shape. When you're applying the dye you want to make sure that you're following the spiral curve with your squeeze bottle.

I'll start in the middle and I'm following it with one of the colors and you want to make sure you add enough to go through all the layers and then you'll pick the second color and you want to apply it sort of in the spaces that the first color didn't get, also following the spiral.

You can also get creative and you can apply it in lines from the center towards the end or you can apply more than one color if you want. I often like to flip it and do the same thing on the other side, even if it's the messier side and you can't see the spiral as well, but just to make sure that both sides of my fabric will have color.

After this step you just go cover your spiral with a plastic bag and you let it cure from 4 to 24 hours. Then you can wring it, as well. So I showed you a way to do spirals using tie dye, using two different dying techniques, immersion dyeing and dyeing with squeeze bottles.

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