Andrew was invited to a ’60’s party. The mom who invited us encouraged the kids to wear tie-dyed t-shirts. Andrew did not have a tie-dyed t-shirt or anything else in his wardrobe that would pass for ’60’s attire, so I looked for dye when I went grocery store. I could not find any dye at my local stores and when I did find it in town it was $4.99 a bottle, so if I wanted to make a shirt with multiple colors it was going to be quite expensive. I was thinking of letting him go in his normal clothes when I got the idea to try tie-bleaching a shirt.
Andrew had a shirt that I wasn’t that fond of; it was a solid green with a dark green screen print grass hopper, so I decided to try tie-bleaching that shirt thinking that if I failed he would just have an ugly play shirt. But it turned out quite well, in fact, I like the shirt much better after tie-bleaching than I did before:
When my daughter saw it, she asked me to tie-bleach a shirt for her. I have a feeling this is how I will be extending the life of faded or stained items for a while.
How to Tie-Bleach a T-Shirt
a t-shirt (preferably all cotton)
a large bowl or sink with a stopper
Roll your shirt up lengthwise.
Then twist and start putting rubber bands all over the shirt , twisting the shirt again before adding each new rubber band. The area under the rubber band will remain darker.
Add 10 – 12 cups of water to a large bowl, add 1 – 1/2 cups of bleach to the water.
Place shirt in water carefully, you do not want to splash the clothes you are wearing. Push the shirt under the waster so it is entirely submersed.
Watch the shirt carefully as it lightens, pull it out when it has reached the desired color. This could take anywhere from 2 minutes to 15 minutes depending on the type of fabric and the effect you are trying to achieve.
Rinse immediately to stop the bleaching action. Wash and dry as usual.