I thought I'd start a thread on Tie Dyeing that I could update every so often as I learn new folds and come up with interesting designs.
I'll start out with a quick explanation for anyone interested in the process.
I am using Procion MX Fabric Reactive cold water dyes. I mix the dyes with a $13 blender I got a walmart. Using the blender ensures the dye is very well mixed and totally eliminates the need for the slightly toxic Urea pellets (who's only function is to help the dye dissolve). This dye will only dye cotton and other organics (like skin) it won't dye rayon, polyester or nylon. Thread on mass production tee shirts are not made with cotton thread so it always comes out gleaming white when you rinse out your shirts. This fact also makes it possible to tie dye white tee shirts with pictures screen printed on it - the dye won't stick to the ink at all.
I had bought all sorts of chemicals and stuff (urea, aglinate, etc) but when it comes down to it I actually am only using Synthrapol detergent as a prewash to remove "sizing" on new shirts. Any basic liquid detergent is said to be fine as long as it doesn't have extra stuff in it to add fragrance, bounce, etc... I will be buying cheap generic detergent when I run out of this stuff! And Soda Ash Dye Fixer as presoak, it's basically the same as PH UP for aquariums - it makes the soaking water super high PH. You use 1 cup of soda ash to 1 gallon of hot water (hot water helps it dissolve).
Here's a shirt soaking in Soda Ash Dye Fixer, all you do is let it sit for 5-10 mins to make sure all the fibers are permeated:
Next you have to wring out the excess water as best you can. You want the shirt moist/damp but not sopping. Once wrung out you flatten it and start doing your folds, ties, etc.
Here is a spiral getting started:
Keep twisting and flatting until you get this:
Once twisted it must be wrapped with rubber bands or thread. Thread ties up much tighter and gives more white, rubber bands are usually looser and more ink seeps through. Here are three styles of twists and ties.
To dye the shirts I lay them on some metal shelving for closets they sell at Home Depot the excess ink doesn't pool under the shirts but drips down in the big rubbermaid. Ink wipes off the shelf with a spritz of water. The shirt below is a test run of a fire long sleeve tie dye
Here is the fire long sleeve after soaking up ink for two days. Overall I'm pleased with it but I decided on dumping more red on while the shirt was open and reclosing it in a bag so I will wash it out in two more days and see if the red area is more filled in.
This one I tried out a "camo" spiral tie dye
Here are a couple others: