Tie-dyeing some of your old clothes or thrift items is a super-easy way to give them a new life! If some of your clothes have stains or you just don't wear them anymore try plant dyeing them with some of your friends. It's a lot more simple than you might think and you most likely have everything you need at home already.
LET'S GET STARTED
Thrift or reuse an old shirt that you have! - stole mine from my dad
Soak it for at least an hour in some kind of mordant/fixative.
This is gonna help the colors stay on your fabric!
You can use a few different things of mordant/fixative:
Rit ColorStay - super easy and convenient to find at Michaels or Joanns
follow the directions on the bottle for how much to add
White vinegar - you probably have this hiding somewhere in your house
use a ratio of one part vinegar to four parts water when you soak your clothes
GET YOUR PLANTS READY!!
There are tons of different options: onion skins, turmeric, beets, avocados
I used avocado pits and skins for the pink/brown color
I also used red and yellow onion skins for the yellow/orange color
Simmer (in 2 separate pots) with enough water to fully cover your veggies
Simmer for at least 2 hours!
The longer the better!
Remove your clothes from the fixative
Tie them up with rubber bands
Strain your simmered dye into 2 pots or buckets
Place your tied clothes directly into the pots with your veggies
If you want just one color on your shirts
If you want to mix colors
Use an old squirt bottle (I used an old sriracha bottle)
Fill it up with whatever color you want to use!
Leave your dyed shirts out to set overnight
Undo the rubber bands
Rinse with cold water
LOOK FOR OUR NEXT INSTALLMENT: JUSTINE SHOWS US HOW TO SCREENPRINT!
Justine is a regular contributor to withitgirl. She spent the pandemic at home in Southern California and is now on her way back to school in Hawaii. Aloha!
Other Helpful Information about the process and plant dyes:
How to Tie-Dye with Natural Dyes: Article on the Inhabit Website
How to Tie-Dye with Plants by Sophie Hirsh Article on Greenmatters
Plants & Dyes by Susan Patterson Article
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