Give tired bed linen a fresh, fun new look with a splash of dye! Tie dye is making a comeback right now, and you can achieve some beautiful results when you do it yourself with some super simple techniques. We’ll show you how!
- Old bedding. For the purposes of measurements we used a double bed sheet and two pillowcases. (NB. bedding must be 100 per cent cotton otherwise it won’t take the dye)
- Fibre-reactive procion dye.
- Large tub to use as a dye bath
- Bucket for mixing
- Measuring cups and spoons (If you’re planning on doing a lot of dyeing it’s good to have a separate set of these to your kitchen ones)
- Soda Ash
- Safety mask
- Rubber bands
- Rubber gloves
- Long wooden spoon for stirring
1. Prepare Bedding For Dyeing
There are many ways to prepare fabric for tie-dyeing. Here are three simple techniques:
Tie a rubber band around a small bunch of fabric in the middle of a pillowcase. Smooth the rest of the pillowcase down from the top rubber band and tie more rubber bands around the bundle, moving down the bundle.
Fold the pillowcase lengthways in a concertina fold style. Once the entire pillowcase has been folded this way, concertina the pillowcase widthways and secure the bundle with a rubber band.
This method is good if you want your fabric to dye without a pattern, just a bit of delicate texture. Randomly scrunch the bed sheet tightly and secure the bundle with rubber bands.
2. Mix Dye Bath Ingredients
Mix one cup of salt, eight teaspoons of soda ash and two galons of warm water in a bucket. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until everything is fully dissolved.
3. Prepare the Colour
For this amount of bedding, use one tablespoon of colour per one cup of hot tap water. We used two cups of water. In a measuring cup, add a small amount of water to the colour and stir into a paste, then add the rest of the water slowly, stirring as you go.
4. Prepare the Dye Bath
Pour the bucket mixture into the big tub. Pour the dye colour into the tub. Submerge the bedding bundles and with gloves on, knead the bundles into the water, making sure all white bits are soaked through with dye. Leave the bedding in the dye bath for 24 hours, turning over every few hours to make sure all the fabric gets evenly coated with dye.
5. Rinse the Fabric
After 24 hours the dye becomes non-toxic and is safe to dispose of in the sink. To rinse the fabric, remove all the rubber bands and unfold the bundles. Run cold water over the fabric until most of the dye has rinsed out. To finish off, run the bedding through a normal washing machine cycle with detergent, then put out to dry.
Make Your Bed
Now that your bed linen is dry, it’s time to give your bed a makeover. We used two different dyeing techniques so that the pillowcases weren’t too matchy-matchy. The clash of patterns works well when you use the same colour dye.
Now that you know the basic techniques, you can try different colours and mix and match your designs.