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Turn on the colors! How to tie-dye clothes (’60s & ’70s)

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Tie dye how-to for satin

Tie dye how-to for satin

Fit to be tie-dyed (1970)

Getting dressed today is no longer a simple matter. It’s a challenge. You must choose your own skirt length, you must accessorize with scarves, vests, capes, floppy hats. You have to decide where your waist should be and whether to belt it. It boggles the mind.

But one way to stand up to the situation is on your own exciting legs — covered with pantyhose or tights that you have designed and colored yourself. It’s done by tie-dyeing, and doesn’t require skill or a fantastic color sense. All you need is the desire to turn out a unique-looking you.

Tie-dyeing is an ancient method of fabric design being revived by swinging do it-yourselfers as well as by the country’s top designers. It involves tying off sections of fabric with rubber bands or string and dipping the fabric into pots of simmering household dyes. Patterns of color are formed because the dyes do not penetrate the tied areas.

The results are vibrant designs that may range from geometric patterns to overall, lush organic effects. Experimenting with various knots, folds and colors will produce unexpectedly delightful designs. There are no mistakes — just improvisations which can be more fun than a planned pattern.

Here’s how to tie-dye: Start with inexpensive white or pale pantyhose. Supplies needed are Rit dye in powder or liquid form, a stock of rubber bands, wooden spoon for stirring dye bath, rubber gloves, and a glass, metal or enamel pan large enough to completely immerse the garment.

Wet down the tights or pantyhose, fold in half, lengthwise. Working on a flat surface, band a series of closely-spaced rosette knots over the entire surface of the tights. Just pinch the fabric into puffs of desired height and secure the base of the puff tightly with a rubber band. For concentric circles or a sunburst effect, band the puffs in several places. The more rubber bands you use, the more circles will result.

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Use 1/4 cup of liquid dye or 1/2 package of regular powder for each quart of water and heat in the pan. The dye solution should be kept simmering throughout the process, but never allowed to boil. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon.

WANT TO TRY DYE? See several options of dye brands and colors here!

Keep tights in the dye bath for 15 to 20 minutes, making sure all fabric is covered by the dye. When the desired shade is reached, squeeze out excess, and rinse in cold running water. Unband the knot, then re-rinse until the water runs clear. And stand back and admire your handiwork.


Tie-dye some electic satin!

Tie dye how-to for satin

How to tie-dye satin

Simplicity says it’s shocking! Shocking jolts of Rit color really turn satin on. You tie, dip and dye it to create your own unique print. Sew on an electrifying pattern. Rit color makes it fun — Simplicity Patterns make it easy — you make it different from anyone else!

Crumble an area of fabric together. Tuck know center inside. Secure with rubber bands.

Plot the “knots” over the fabric.

Dip the whole fabric or just knots in simmering diluted Rit for 15 minutes. (1/4 cup of liquid Rit or 1/2 package regular powder dye to each quart of water.)

Rinse in running water. Untie knots. Re-rinse until water runs clear. Iron damp.

Tie dye how-to for satin

Tie dye how-to for satin


Have a tie-dye party

“Talk about far-out T-shirts! Rit really made my tie-dye party fly!”

Have a tie-dye party


Groovy tie-dye how-to

How to make this happening top: Basic tie-dye knot can be any size. you can tuck the center of the knot back inside for a different effect. Tie tightly with a rubber band. Dye won’t absorb through the rubber band… that’s how the pattern of white lines happens. Toss the whole garment into hot diluted Rit dye. 10 to 15 minutes for t-shirts. About 30 minutes for jeans. Or you can dip the knots alone. Or you can tie new knots and dip them in a different color.

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How to make this yellow and black t-shirt: Gather four stripes across the t-shirt. Tie tightly with rubber bands. Lots of rubber bands together give you a broader white pattern. Dip bottom in hot diluted Rit charcoal. Turn upside down and dip top in Rit Yellow. PS: Some people just gather fabric up and tie it; or wring it and tie it. You can make up some great effects yourself… the dyed result is usually marvelous and unique.

Jean dye jobs: Accordion fold jeans lengthwise. You don’t have to be good at it — pattern can be wobbly. Fold jeans in half, then in half again. Tie tightly at intervals with rubber bands. Dip halfway in diluted dark brown, or whatever color turns you on. Now turn fabric around and dop other half in hot diluted Rit orange.

Groovy tie-dye how-to


Splash and dash tie dye dress – Groovy vintage fashion (1970)

Splash and dash tie dye dress fashion 1970


Ideas for tie-dye scarves, hippie-style

Rit tie dye scarves


Electric satin (1969)

Tie dye how-to for satin


Rit tie dye wall art from 1971

Rit tie dye wall art from 1971

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