Style DIY

Bring a spirit of hippie bohemia to your wardrobe with one of the biggest trends of the summer, tie-dye.

Not just reserved for the festival season (now postponed due to coronavirus) this multi-colour print has creeped it’s way into the wardrobes of everyone, even the minimalist dressers among us.

If you want to add a personal touch to your colour swirl, then this DIY project will not only keep you occupied during self-isolation, but you will also have a unique statement piece at the end.

Ralph Lauren has put together a handy guide to give your old T-shirts, oxford shirts, sweatpants, hoodies or socks a new look. All you need are coloured dyes; squeeze bottles; rubber bands; and rubber gloves, You can also use soda ash and dye fixative for better colour saturation if you want.

tie dye diy

The prep

Prepare your dyes, then soak your garments in warm water (with soda ash, if using) and gently wring them out — tie-dye works best when the fabric is damp, but not soaking wet. Put on your gloves and find a good space to work, like a bathtub, a large sink, or somewhere outside, and you’re ready to go.

Tie it together

Grab your rubber bands and get to work. Try the standard swirl pattern by inching the centre of a T-shirt or Polo and spiralling it tight, then rubber-banding it together to form triangular cross-sections. Pinch small sections and wrap rubber bands tightly around them to create circle effects. 

Or, bunch your garment together and apply your bands randomly to create an abstract design. Grab a few old tees—maybe even a sheet—and try just about anything else that comes to mind, and try to guess what the resulting pattern will be.

Time for the dye

With your gloves on, grab your dye bottles. Try mixing and matching different colours onto the different sections that your rubber-band pattern has created. Repeat on all sides of your garment. A little bit of colour blending is encouraged, but be careful—too much can muddy the overall result.

tie dye diy

Final touch

Place your masterpieces into individual plastic bags and let rest according to your dye’s instructions. Then, if you’re using a fixative, soak according to its instructions. Then remove the rubber bands, unfold, and voilà you can officially call yourself a designer. 

 Be sure to rinse each piece of tie-dye thoroughly, then machine wash individually at least once to wash out any excess dye and prevent it from spreading onto the rest of your laundry.

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Images: Supplied, main image