Monday, February 25, 2013

DIY Tie Dye with Red Wine

Easy Do It Yourself Dye

 I'm obsessed with Fabric, especially canvas. It's natural, it's strong, it has more uses than a swiss army knife... and it can be a challenge to Dye. There's nothing I love more than a challenge. 

I also love red wine. 

Here is how I use Red Wine to Dye Fabric, including so-called "non-dye-able" Canvas, and a shirt I never wore:

White or light colored fabric (I used cotton)
2+ cups Red Wine
Rubber Bands or Hemp Twine
Clean Baking Pan
Jar or Bucket 
An Old Towel

Supplies laid out ready to start dying fabric

 Step 1: Tie up items to be dyed. If you bind it with more wrinkles you will end up with more light colored areas after you are done. The tighter you tie or band it up the more areas of light color will remain as well.

Cotton articles tied up and ready to be Dyed with Red Wine

  Step 2: Steep the items in the Red Wine for at least 2 hours. I let mine soak for 4 hours.

A white shirt after soaking in red wine for 4 hours

Step 3: Squeeze the wine out of the fabric. Leftover wine can be saved to re-use next time you want to dye but the color won't be quite as strong. For really dark dye wring until no liquid drips. For lighter dye wring as much out as possible.

Wine Dyed items being laid flat to dry in the oven

 Step 4: Lay items as flat as possible on your clean baking sheet. Try not to let them touch or overlap so the color doesn't bleed from one article to another. Your baking sheet must be clean or you risk discoloring your dyed items. I covered mine with foil just to be safe.

Wine Dyed clothing and fabric drying in an oven

 Step 5: Set oven at 170 to 180 Fahrenheit with damp dyed items inside. The combination of heat and drying with the wine pigment still on the fabric helps set the color. Make sure to set a timer so you don't start a fire. I checked on my items every 10 minutes. The small items took about 20 minutes to dry fully while the shirt took over an hour. I didn't want to put freshly dyed items in the dryer in case it might leave color behind which is why I chose to do it in the oven.

Check your items every 10 minutes: Safety First!

Step 6: (This step is optional. I did it to make sure the color was fully set.) Lay your old towel on an ironing board. Iron dyed items as you normally would. The heat will help set the color so it won't fade with washing. The towel prevents your ironing board cover from getting any color on it if your dyed articles aren't fully dry yet.

Small test items in a Red Wine Dye Project

Step 7: Hand wash dyed clothing and fabric in warm water to get rid of any pigment that didn't set. This way the color won't spread to items you don't intend to dye when you wash it after regular use. After dying an article you should avoid washing it in hot water to keep the colors bright.

Gorgeous color and pattern from Red Wine Tie Dye

 And the finished product... 
I like this shirt so much better with the natural earthy rouge dye than I did when it was plain white. I think I'll actually wear it now!

Thanks for reading!!!
Click here for more great DIY ideas or visit the other Tiny Tipis Blog to learn about recycled urban gardening.

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  1. Great idea! I love tye dye! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. I love natural dyes. I hear beets make good red dye too.