____________ July 11, 2016 ___________

Questing:  Tie Dye

Still playing catch-up!  The Tie-dye badge that we did was one of the more fascinating and ‘experimental’ badges we’ve done, so far.  We had a LOT to do, too.  We had to find out the different kinds of tie-dye.  Where it originated, what could be used as dyes, how to set and remove dyes, both, and what kinds of techniques were out there.  Then we had to try FOUR different kinds of tie-dye.  That’s a lot!

What’s crazy is badhani, the Indian version of tie-dyeing.  They pinch tiny bits of cloth, wrap it in thread, dip the material, then dip each little pinching.  Homigoodness, it’s crazy.  Then they cut the threads away to reveal these intricate patterns.  Can you imagine the work put into that?!  Holy wOw!!!  It sure is beautiful, though, isn’t it?  (We did not try this, but here’s a picture.)

First, we started with a library event.  That was the whole point of doing this.  The event was tie-dyeing with permanent maker.  I went on-line and found a site that had instructions, just so that I could get an idea of what we were in for.  It said that Dollar store markers worked better than Sharpies (<< which are formulated not to bleed).  So off we went – to get t-shirts and markers.  Because of the sheer number of us, I also got more alcohol.  I didn’t want to put the hurt to the library’s supplies!

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We learned some interesting things.  First, the less alcohol, the better.  Isaac’s Yoda went blobby from too much alcohol.  Second, once you apply what you’re going to, you can’t go back and do more, later.  It doesn’t work… and is why my shirt isn’t featured.  [insert pained face]  We also learned that washing them takes out most of the color… the stuff that the alcohol smeared, mostly.  Yoda looked much better, after a washing. Lydia’s however was mostly gone – except a little of the blue right where it was concentrated.  I’d gotten home and attacked mine with straight marker (un-‘dyed’), and that didn’t come off in the wash.  It’s still not featured.  And I fear for each and every washing.

Frankly?  Dyes don’t work.  They always bleed in the wash.  We used to do tie-dye as an Independence craft at the lake every summer, and they all bleed out in the wash.  Vinegar doesn’t help.  Ironing them doesn’t help.  Hot settings on dryers don’t help.  Dye is bad news.  I don’t know what companies use to set color in stuff, but it’s apparently way more effective!

We also tried batik, as another means of tie-dying.  We got a package of handkerchiefs (10pk, 100% cotton) for cheap at the store, and a bottle of blue glue.  The instructions were easy, from ThatArtistWoman, who has step-by-step instructions, too.  What I liked about this was that it wasn’t dye, it was paint that we were using.

Things to note:  ALWAYS put wax paper under your work when gluing over your pencil sketch.  The glue soaks thru the cotton and eats the finish off dining room tables… FYI.  So we diluted a bunch of acrylic paints, and once our designs were dried, we painted them up.  It was SO fun, the best project we did.  The kids absolutely loved it, and when we washed the glue away?  It looked GORGEOUS.

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Can you spot the infamous Boba Fett, which is etched in our table, now?

The next kind of tie-dye was with food coloring on coffee filters.  There were two sites we consulted on this (here and here), and it went really fast.  Instead of dippers, we just used butter knives and put drops of our colors on.  It worked well, and they turned out pretty.  Who knows where the heck they are, now, but it was a fun half-hour craft.

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For our final project, I got a little lofty.  I wanted to reverse dye t-shirts for us to wear to Quest meetings.  See, we aren’t doing sashes (and none of the sashes match, and nobody wears them, anyhow…) so I thought it might be a way we identify ourselves as Questies.  We already decided our Family Quest group’s colors would be red and brown…. but sadly?  Hobby Lobby doesn’t have brown t-shirts.  So we ended up getting one of every color in the rainbow!  There are seven of us, after all.

The Japanese style of Shibori dyeing was going to be our style, but we were going to reverse dye – which means take a colored shirt and bleach it to take the color out.  Now THAT won’t bleed in the wash!  (((grins!!!))) We bought shirts in every color of the rainbow, Brian cut us wood blocks, and we went to work, using this site and this site as our inspiration!  <<< If you want to see all sorts of patterns and how to get them, this is where it is!

Things we learned:

  1.  The darker the color, the less time you want to leave it in the bleach.  Black requires a count of six.  Blue and green got left in fifteen seconds (too long!!!) and came out to the same color – orange and yellow hardly bleached at all – and I left ’em in forever.
  2. Purple bleaches out pink (?!?!).  Green and blue bleach out yellow.  Black bleaches out brown.  As a result we were… chaotic. Not at all what we wanted.  My anal didn’t handle it well.  So we gave the kids their shirts as play-wear
  3. We decided to just go with black and do everyone in one color.  (Doing that, even Brian will allow us to make him one, too.)  So we ended up doing it twice!  And here’s the next thing we learned: different blends of fabric react differently.  My shirt was a different blend, and Lydia’s wearing it in the picture, so that you can see the difference.   We also were experimenting with how long to leave it in (SIX seconds works best.  Trust me.)… so some of the shirts are more brown than others.

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Anyhow, it was fun to experiment, and we have some fun play clothes to wear, now.  Plus we earned a badge!

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