How To Tie Dye With Meland

How To Tie Dye With Meland

What is Tie Dye?

Quite simply, tie dye is a process of creating patterns on fabric by tying it into knots and dyeing it with one or more different colors. The result is a unique, one-of-a-kind pattern on the fabric.

Tie dye was popularized in the 1960s and 1970s by artists like Peter Max and Jerry Garcia. Tie dye has come to be associated with flower power, the hippy generation and West coast surf culture. It is still popular today, though most tie dyed clothing is mass produced and not a unique pattern.

The reason tie dye has become so popular and so enduring is that with the right equipment, it's quite easy to do at home, and produces great results. Fun, vibrant colored clothes, wall hangings and much else.

Why we at Meland love tie dye is that it's just a great activity to do with kids. Sure it can get a little messy, but that's part of the fun. Let's face it, kids love a bit of messy play.

On top of the messiness, tie dying is a fun way to do something creative and produce something your kid can proudly wear or use.

In this blog we will discuss the types of tie dye and go into some tips and tricks for making the most of tie dyeing with your kids. Let's get started!

Tie dye kit

Types of tie dye

There are many different ways to tie dye, and the patterns you can create are only limited by your imagination.

You can use any type of fabric for tie dyeing, but natural fabrics like cotton work best. When working with kids, we think it's best to use light-weight materials, so your child can help out more, and to choose items that the kid can wear or use, shirts and pillowcases are perfect.

There are two main methods for tie dying: immersion tie dye (sometimes called wet tie dye) and direct application tie dye (sometimes called dry tie dye). Meland's two tie dye kits come with the equipment to do both of the methods of tie dying easily at home.

With immersion tie dye, you soak the fabric in a salted water first. This is the method we will be discussing in this blog. It's the easiest and most fool-proof way to get great results with tie dye.

Because it's easier we recommend using this method with younger children.

Direct application tie dye is where you apply the dye directly to the fabric using a syringe or squeeze bottle.

This method can result in much more of a multicolored look, if you get it right. However, this method is a bit more difficult and is best suited for adults or older children.

Kids tie dye

How to tie dye?

Now that we've gone over the basics of tie dye, let's get into how to actually do it. As we mentioned before, we think the easiest and most fool-proof way to tie dye is the immersion method so we'll start with the easiest.

You'll need:

- 1 Meland tie dye kit

- A white or light colored t-shirt or piece of fabric. (Meland's kits come with 3 white t-shirts)

- A plastic container large enough to fit the fabric you're working with. We recommend using a bucket, but a sink will work in a pinch.

- Gloves (included in Meland's kit)

- Rubber bands (included in Meland's kit)

- 1 cup of salt (not included)

- 1 gallon of warm water (not included)



1. Fill your container with the warm water and add the salt, stir until the salt is dissolved.

2. Add your piece of fabric to the dye bath and let it soak for 10-15 minutes. The longer you let it soak, the more saturated the color will be.

3. While the fabric is soaking, put on your gloves and prepare your dye bottles. To do this, simply cut the tips off of the bottles. This will make it easier to squirt the dye onto the fabric.

4. Once the fabric has soaked long enough, remove it from the dye bath and squeeze out any excess water.

5. Decide what pattern you want to create and begin tying your fabric with the rubber bands. Be as creative as you want!

6. Once your fabric is all tied up, it's time to start dyeing. Squeeze the dye onto the fabric in whatever pattern you like. Be sure to use all of the colors!

7. Once you're happy with your design, let the fabric sit for 6-8 hours undisturbed so the dye can set.

8. After the allotted time has passed, remove the rubber bands and rinse the fabric until the water runs clear.

9. Wash your newly dyed fabric in cold water with mild detergent and let it air dry.

10. Enjoy your beautiful new tie dyed item!

For the direct application method of tie dye, the method is pretty much the same except you don't soak the garment in water before putting on the dye. This means that the dye soaks into the garment quicker, creating more vivid colors. However the chance for mistakes (over-dying, dyes running, etc) are greater.

With kids, we recommend starting out with the immersion method of tie dyeing, it's the easiest and so has the best chance of resulting in a great dye!

Kids tie dye

How to bleach dye

For those that have tried out regular tie dying with our Meland set, you might want to try something even more difficult. How about trying your hand at bleach tie dyeing? This is a bit more difficult than regular tie dying, but can create some really beautiful and unique designs.

You'll need:

- 1 bottle of strong bleach

- A dark colored t-shirt or piece of fabric.

- A plastic container large enough to fit the fabric you're working with. We recommend using a bucket, but a sink will work in a pinch.

- Gloves (included in Meland's kit)

- Rubber bands (included in Meland's kit)


  1. Use the rubber bands to bind the garment into a unique shape.
  2. Either mix the bleach in a large bucket of water (one part bleach to one part water) or add the bleach with water to a spray bottle (one part bleach to one part water).
  3. Dip the tied and rubber banded garment into the bucket if using the immersion method and remove when the color of the garment changes. If using the spray bottle, carefully spray the exposed fabric of the garment.
  4. Set a timer for 5 minutes and leave the bleach to do its work. Return regularly to the garment until it's reached a desired color. Do not exceed 20 minutes.
  5. Rinse the garment throughly, if possible run through regular cycle in the washing machine by itself (other items in the wash risk being bleached too.
  6. Enjoy your new, unique garment.

How to get dye off your hands

Tie dying is a lot of fun, and can be incredibly rewarding to do it with kids. However, as with so many crafty, creative activities, it can get pretty messy.

Always remember the easiest and safest way to get dye from hands is with soap, water and a little scrubbing. It's best to do it sooner rather than later too, don't let the dye dry on little hands or you might find it doesn't come off so easily.

If you find you can't get your little one's hands clean, don't worry. All of Meland's dyes are natural and environmentally friendly, so don't contain dangerous chemicals.

Get into tie dyeing

We love tie dyeing, and think it'll never truly go out of fashion. It's a wonderful activity you can share with your kids. And if done right, will leave your kids with a wonderful moment they can be proud of and treasure forever. Pick up your kit today.