Tie dyeing screams summer, doesn’t it? It makes me think of arts and crafts at summer camp, or fun projects done with friends while on summer vacation. In fact, my friend Meredith and I played around with tie dyeing a few pairs of White Noise, and we had a BLAST! If you want to try your hand at tie dyeing, here are some instructions you can follow.
A few notes before we start:
- If you are tie dyeing a single pair with a single color, you can follow the instructions as is.
- If you are using multiple colors, that’s fine! You’ll just need another squirt bottle for every additional color.
- If you are dyeing a brand new pair of White Noise, choose any dye color you want.
- If you are dyeing a well worn pair of White Noise that has a lot of dirt stains, wash them as best you can first, and choose darker dye colors.
- Following these instructions will result in a marbled effect. If you want less white marbling and more of your dye color, reverse steps 6 and 7.
1 bottle of Rit All Purpose Dye
1 bottle of Rit ColorStay Dye Fixative
2 squirt bottles for dye and fixative application
1 aluminum foil roasting pan
1 cooling rack
10-15 rubber bands
1 pair of vinyl gloves
1. Set up the cooling rack so it’s on top of the aluminum foil roasting pan
This is your dye station. The roasting pan will catch all the excess dye. I crunched the sides of my aluminum foil roasting pan up over the edges of my cooling rack to secure it.
2. Remove the pad inserts from your Bee’s Knees Knee Pads.
3. Put on your gloves.
4. Mix the dye solution by mixing two tablespoons of RIT All Purpose Dye with two cups of warm water.
RIT makes a special dye for synthetic fabrics, but the fiber content of Bee’s Knees Knee Pads is suited for RIT’s All Purpose Dye. Hot water from the tap will do. If you don’t want to buy the squirt bottles, you can use a water bottle and drill a hole in the cap or even a clean Sriracha bottle.
5. Mix the fixative by mixing two tablespoons of RIT Colorstay Dye Fixative with two cups of warm water.
6. Wrap the knee pads in any shape you want and secure with rubber bands.
How you wrap it and how many rubber bands you use determine the pattern you’ll get. The spiral method is super popular. Even if you haven’t tie dyed before, you know what the spiral method looks like. You can wrap, fold, twist, or gather the material any way you want, but where Bee’s knees Knee Pads don’t have very much surface area to work with, fan folding is going to be your best bet. The result will be a marbled effect.
7. Wet the knee pads in cold water and squeeze gently to remove the excess water.
8. Place the knee pads on the cooling rack with the roasting pan secured underneath.
9. Apply the dye with the squirt bottle wherever and however you want!
More dye means less white will show in your marbled results. If your squirt bottle has a pointed tip, like a Sriracha bottle, you can use the “turkey baster method” and inject dye in between the folds.
10. Let the knee pads sit for 30 minutes.
11. Apply the fixative liberally to the knee pads. Then wrap them in cling film and microwave for 1 minute.
12. When the knee pads are cool to the touch, remove the cling film and rubber bands to reveal your design!
13. Run the knee pads under cool water to rinse any excess dye. There shouldn't be much, if the fixative did its job. Let them sit for 24 hours.
14. Machine wash cold with the straps strapped up and in Dirty Magic Bag. Throw an old towel in for good measure. Air dry. Do not put them in the dryer.
15. Once they are fully dry, replace the pad inserts and your Trippy Tie Dye Knee Pads are ready to go!
If you love crafty stuff or upcycling, you’ll love this project!