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The best way to DIY a tie-dye T-shirt

Update:19 Jul 2019

Brooklyn-based artist Ruth Moskell, 31, says beginners […]

Brooklyn-based artist Ruth Moskell, 31, says beginners shouldn’t fear rolling up their sleeves and try to DIY tie-dye. The at-home color aficionado  who teaches workshops at Artists & Fleas in Soho and sells her dyed wares on her Etsy shop,  suggests that newbie colorists try the traditional “spiral” design: a classic pattern that looks dramatic but is actually simple to master.You’ll need a plain white 100-percent-cotton tee  polyester blends won’t absorb bright hues as easily as natural fabrics.

To prep the shirt, you’ll also need soda ash, a k a sodium carbonate, a sister to baking soda, which can be purchased at most craft stores . Combine the ash with water, and soak the shirt according to the package directions, usually about 20 minutes. Wring it out, so it’s damp, not soaking wet, and it’s ready to go!Cover a table or flat surface to protect it from any rogue color. For mess-free application, Moskell suggests combining powdered dye  she likes the professional pigments from Dharma Trading fiber-reactive dye, from  with water in plastic squirt bottles, according to the package directions.

When choosing your colors, she recommends picking hues that will contrast, rather than blend; mixtures of red and green, yellow and purple, or blue and orange, for example, will bleed together and turn a murky brown.To make the swirl design, start out with your pre-soaked T-shirt lying flat on a covered surface. Pinch the very center of the tee with your dominant hand. Continuously turn the fabric clockwise, like you would a knob; cool circular folds should start to form. Keep twisting until the whole shirt is rounded into a tidy spiral.

Reach for three rubber bands to help the twisted sphere keep its shape. Wrap them so the bands intersect in the center, dividing the shirt into six wedge-like triangles.Place your prepped tee in front of you on your workspace. Moskell likes using a baking sheet to catch the extra liquid, and puts her garment atop a plastic rack  hers is a repurposed perforated drawer organizer  for more precise application and less mess.While wearing rubber gloves, squirt dye directly onto the fabric in thirds, so that each color takes up two of the six wedges. For consistently gorgeous color, Moskell says it’s important to be thorough: Don’t forget to apply dye to both sides of the shirt, and work it into the folds of the spiral as well.

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