Since the 1960’s people have been knotting and banding humble white tee shirts and dipping them in dye to create funky fun tie dye shirts. At Kiawah, the afternoon family tye dye craft began in the mid-80’s.
This July, the Kiawah Recreation team took tye dye to another level with much more brighter, vibrant colorts. By switching dye products and raising the pH level in the shirts, our new method has proved to have much BRIGHTER results. Of course with every improvement comes a sacrifice… Ideally you are going to need at least 48 hours before you get to wear it. If you are trying to get that “Family photo in your matching spiral tye dyes” or a “picture of all the cousins in their shirts” you need to plan accordingly.
For years the staff was able to open up the participants’ masterpieces (tye dyed item) right after they were dipped. Instantly they received the “Oooohhs and Aaaahhs”, the shirts dried and they are able to wear them right away. The new dye is required to “set” in the bag for approximately 24 hours in order for the chemical reaction to take place. This will allow the dye to saturate the fabric.
After 24 hours the chemical reaction will have set in. At this time take the project over the sink and run cold water on it. With the rubber bands still on, squeeze out the excess dye. Dye will come out at this time. You need to keep squeezing until the water is mostly clear. At this point you can take the rubber bands off and check it out!
Next, run your project under warm water and squeeze more dye out. Your next step is to wash it. It is easiest to toss them in the washing machine on a hot cycle. Feel free to air dry or toss it in the dryer once it is cleaned.
Although it takes a little bit longer before you get to enjoy your new project the brightness of the colors are totally worth it! It is now ready to wear or better yet “photo ready”!
See you soon at the next tye dye session at Night Heron Park!