Spice Up Your Wardrobe! 3 Ways To Tie-Dye Your Shirts (And Other Stuff)

Think tie-dyeing is just for 70s-themed parties? Not anymore with these fresh takes.

The early days of autumn are upon us and we’re in the midst of going back to school or back to work after a rejuvenating summer. This means it’s also time to start swapping out our spring/summer garments for our autumn/winter ones. If you’re bored looking at your plain white shirts and neutral-coloured jumpers, why not consider a colourful update using DYLON Hand Dyes?

When we think of tie-dye, we often associate it with making tacky (but oh-so fun) T-shirts as a kid with your classmates or for a fancy dress party. Actually though, you can use tie-dye to transform your everyday clothes, too. With some DYLON Hand Dyes, you can transform a plain white frock into something that not only stands out, but could be found in the pages of your favourite fashion glossy.


Here are 3 gorgeous ways to tie-dye your clothes:

1.  Create a water-colour shirt

Spruce up a white button-up shirt or floaty blouse with some splashes of colour, as much or as little as you like. You don’t have to dye your whole shirt - leave some of the original fabric colour visible for contrast.

What you need:

  • DYLON Hand Dyes, which come in a dazzling array of 22 colours for plenty of possibilities
  • Ice
  • Cooling rack
  • Pan or tray

How to watercolour dye your shirt:

  1. Pick a few shades of fabric dye that go well together. You can stick to shades within the same colour family - like China Blue and Navy Blue -, or different colours that complement each other - like Emerald Green and Flamingo Pink.
  2. Stack the cooling rack on top of a tray. Then lay your damp blouse on the tray. Don’t worry if it’s messy and bunched up a bit, that’s OK.
  3. Pour ice over the garment and then sprinkle the fabric dye powder on top of the ice, over the general area of the blouse where you want the colour to appear.
  4. After the ice melts, you’ll be left with a soft, stunning watercolour effect.

2. Play with patterns

Dyeing geometric shapes can add a funky edge to your otherwise one-tone top or dress. You can create patterns by shibori dyeing. Similar to batik tie dyeing, shibori dyeing uses objects like ropes, poles, and wooden plates to prevent the fabric from absorbing the dye in certain areas. This results in beautiful tie dyed patterns. There are a lot of different ways to create shibori tie dye patterns. Here’s just one of those ways:


What you need:

  • One pack of DYLON Hand Dye and 250 g of salt
  • Two flat pieces of wood or other flat objects you don’t mind getting dyed
  • Some rubber bands or string

How to shibori tie-dye your clothes:

  1. Create a dye bath by filling a stainless steel or glass bowl with approximately 6 litres of warm tap water and dissolve 250g of salt into it.  
  2. Wearing rubber gloves, dissolve the packet of hand dye in 500 ml of warm water. Add this mixture to the dye bath and stir well.
  3. Fold your damp garment, accordion-style, into a square or rectangle. This will be the shape of the white pattern on your fabric, so the bigger the shape, the more white space there will be.
  4. Sandwich the accordion between two flat pieces of wood (the pieces can be bigger or smaller than your folded garment) and bind the sandwich with rubber bands or string.
  5. Gently soak the garment sandwich in the dye for 60 minutes, stirring frequently for the first 15 minutes and then occasionally for the remaining 45 minutes.
  6. Take the sandwich out, remove the string or rubber bands and rinse in cold water until the water runs clear.  
  7. Wash with your usual detergent and leave to dry away from direct sunlight.

3. Set the tone for autumn

Tie-dyeing doesn’t have to entail the bright, vibrant colours we’ve come to expect. For people who prefer more neutral tones, dyeing your clothes with warm earthy shades is another way to update your wardrobe for autumn.

DYLON Hand Dyes in Rosewood Red, Burlesque Red, Olive Green, Dark Green, Pebble Beige, and Dark Brown are shades we recommend.

Aftercare: After dyeing your garment, rinse it in cold water. Then wash it gently with detergent and warm water, and dry the garment away from direct sunlight and heat.

9 Ways To Incorporate Tie-Dye Into Your Home

Like tie-dyed things, but not in your wardrobe? Here some things in your home that you can upgrade with tie-dyed fabric:

  1. Place mats
  2. Napkins and tablecloths
  3. Tea towels
  4. Fabric-covered candle holders
  5. Lamp shades
  6. Fabric coasters
  7. Sofa cushions
  8. Wall hangings
  9. Bed linen

Ready to transform your clothes? Find a shop that stocks DYLON fabric dye.