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FAQ: How do you tie-dye letters of the alphabet?

Using strong synthetic thread (or nylon fishing line, or dental floss), sew a straight line for each line in the letter, leaving long ends hanging out. sketch of basted letter shape (Don't use cotton or silk thread because it will also dye, making it harder to find later.) Use very long stitches, even as few as 2 or 3 to the inch. Then pull each thread up by both ends, tighten it, tie it, and then dye using either direct application or bucket dyeing. When finished, *carefully* cut and remove the threads - beware of nicking your fabric during this step!

For a banner with someone's full name, unless it's a very short name, it's probably best to do only one or two letters on a square of cloth, then sew the dyed squares together at the end, to avoid a tangled mess. It's your call.

Need more help? Buy a book! Sulfiati Harris's "Rainbow Tie Dye" is under $5 at the Dharma Trading Company and shows how to do this for heart or star shaped motifs. The technique is the same. (See Sources for supplies.)

There are many traditional tie-dye techniques based on sewing, used mainly in India and Japan at this point. Many have very subtle, wonderful results.



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