Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tie-Dye 101 {the classic spiral|}

(above center spiral with purple and black dye)

Ah, the Classic Spiral.  My favorite Tie-Dye design.  I can't get enough of this simple fold. 

Follow the steps HERE to make sure your shirt and dye are prepared correctly.
To achieve the tightest spiral, you want to flip your shirt over so you are working with the back of the shirt.  Lay it out flat on your work surface.  Decide where you want the center of your spiral - this will make a huge difference in the design.  Here we are pinching the center of the spiral at the bottom left corner.

Pinch tightly and begin a slow turn - you decide if it should be clock-wise or counter clock-wise.  Hold the fabric tightly as you swirl it.  Help the pleats along to keep them crisp.

Continue turning the shirt until the entire shirt is incorporated in the spiral. (the example below we are spiraling from the center)

 Keep in place with 3-4 rubber bands like this:  When you flip your shirt over to the front, you will see how nice and tight the spiral is on the front.

Decide how many colors you want in your shirt.  Choose sections like a pie and fill in with colors.  Play around with making small pie sections and large sections and using different colors.  Once you have died the front, turn it over and dye the back.  You can choose to follow the same color pattern, or off set the colors by 1 or do totally different colors.  Each will provide a different effect.

The shirt below is dyed using the "pie section" technique, spiral on the shoulder. Colors: blue, purple, orange, lime

Pie section technique, spiral in the center. Colors: yellow, lime, purple, turquoise black

This shirt we did not color in pie sections, rather, we followed the swirl.  We call it "spiderweb".  This will make the spiral pattern a little different.  We used teal and black dye.  Alternate the spiral with your colors.

 Here it is finished

This one was dyed the same way:

This one also:

This spiral is dyed with the center one color and then colored rings going out...kind of like a bulls eye.

This is how it looks once it's dyed:

This one was dyed the same way - only with a larger yellow center:

This baby onsie was dyed in a pie pattern with fuchsia and purple dye.

These Red Spirals are died using only red dye and leaving white spaces on the pie.  We centered the spiral on the bottom, left side.  We will be wearing them to the Taylor Swift RED concert!!!

You can see how using more dye results in less white showing and less dye allows more white to show.  It's a preference.  I like white showing in my shirts and my brother like the shirts completely colored.

This swirl is centered over the shoulder.  I used blue, orange, and fuchsia dye.

You can take the spiral to the next step and do a double or triple spiral.  For this shirt, we spiraled over the shoulder then at the opposite bottom corner.  We spun the spirals away from each other.  I love this one - it's one of my favorites!

Another double spirial:

Now it's your turn to try a spiral!  You will love all the possibilities!!



  1. Great tutorial! I'm going to give it a try! Thanks!

  2. awesome tutorial... found you at ginger crafts party!
    i pinned this for future projects, thanks for sharing!

    xo, mama lola

  3. Found via mama lola's pinterest :) I definitely want to try this with my kids this summer.

  4. I would love for you to share and link up at my weekly TGIF Link Party if you haven't already this week. Your favorite posts, most popular, recent or new! The party is open every Thursday night and closes Wednesday's at midnight. Followed by (Not SO) Wordless Wednesday! http://apeekintomyparadise.blogspot.com/.

    I would be honored if you join us and follow to stay connected Have a wonderful week!

    Hugs, Cathy

  5. How do you get the color to saturate all the way through? Would you please email me atkimmerc1976@gmail.com. Thanks Kim