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Dye Clothing

Dye clothing with tie-dye, batik, paints, stamps and commercial dye.


Learn how to dye clothing with these various methods and instructions. Yes, even you can dye clothing with these how-to's on tie-dye, batik, fabric painting and more.

1. Stop. What Kind of Fabric is It?

Red yarn soaking in dyeing vat
Kathleen Brennan/Photodisc/Getty Images

How you dye your clothing depends on what it is made of. Is it a cotton/rayon blend? Is it a wool knit sweater? Here is the science behind dyeing that will get you the best results.

2. How to Tie-Dye

How to Tie-Dye
Rain Blanken

Feelin’ groovy? In tie dye, you aren’t just limited to t-shirts. You can tie-dye socks, shorts…even underwear. Tie dye is a fun party project that can be completed outside in the summer, or indoors. Follow these steps to get in on the boho trend without spending the bucks.

3. Dip Dye Fabric

Dip Dye Fabric
Rain Blanken and Getty Images

Tie Dye is only one way to dye fabric with swirling designs and crackle features. Try dip dying fabric. This simple process involves crumpling the fabric in the dye to produce an array of effects. There are no rubber bands required, and the results are different than conventional tie dye.

4. Dye with Bubbles

Bubble Dye
Anne Marie Helmenstine

You can create these delicate patterns with just a bottle of bubbles and some tempera paint. Bubble prints add a trippy look to your shirts, and can be used with your tie-dye projects.

5. Cold Water Dye

Rain Blanken

Dying a piece of clothing can put a whole new spin on your look. Renew some of your clothes with fresh, vibrant color, or dye some whites to give them more flavor. Simply follow these step-by-step instructions.

6. How to Marble Fabric

Marbled Fabric
Janet Wickell

Learn how to float paints above fabric to gain this ethereal and psychedelic look. These kinds of prints are so in right now, so why not do it for free at home?

7. Dye Clothes with Coffee

Coffee Dye
Rain Blanken

Turn your morning brew into an effective dye. Soaking clothes in coffee will produce those smooth browns and khaki's that are always in style. What a cheap and easy dye solution.

8. Paint with Fabric Markers

Fabric Markers
Marion Boddy-Evans

Fabric painting with a marker pen or paint pen rather than brush and paint is particularly useful when it comes to painting thin lines. (And there's no brush to clean afterwards!) But that's hardly the only thing you can do with fabric markers or paint pens. They give you great control for "coloring in", work easily with stencils, and can be used with rubber stamps.

- From our Guide to Painting.

9. How to Stamp Fabric

Stamping Fabric
Marion Boddy-Evans
If you're not into painting, just try printing. Grab your favorite rubber stamps and learn how to use them with fabric paints to create your own original patterns and styles. From our Guide to Painting.

10. Spray Paint Clothes

Spray Paint Clothing
Rain Blanken
Spray painting with a stencil is one of the easiest ways to change a piece of clothing. These step-by-step instructions will give you the right tools and techniques.
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