Category Archives: tie-dyeing

Triple spiral tie-dye pattern from the Dye Forum

Name: Lisa
Country or region: USA
Message: I was interested in a triple spiral / cresting wave pattern, but the web page does not work. Can you help direct me?

I’m sorry that the Dye Forum cannot be made to work again. However, I am excited to have discovered that you will still be able to look at that discussion, thanks to the generosity of the Internet Archive. Just follow this link:

Internet Archive “cresting wave” tie-dye design from the Dye Forum

It shows the entire “cresting wave” Dye Forum thread from 2007 about how to make the triple spiral, except for a few pictures that no longer exist online. (You can also follow the links to explore other Dye Forum postings.)

Although the iTieDye Forum has also disappeared, for the same reasons (permanently crashed by robospammers), you can also see the 2006 iTieDye Forum thread referred to, for further explanation of how to do it, via the following Internet Archive link:

Internet Archive “How to tie this” discussion from

The key is to twist your fabric (or shirt) on three different centers at the same time, using three forks or three clothes pins (or whatever you prefer for starting a spiral fold), then, when you apply the dye, make sure that you cross each of the individual little spirals in the fabric with two or more colors. Here is a good image, from the link above, of how a triple-spiral-tied shirt looks before applying the dye, created by dancingbearmama (Nicole):
tied for the triple spiral tie-dye

A shirt in the original design which started the whole discussion might even still be available for sale from The Edge Tie Dye, as their “Blue Flame” pattern. See their “Flame, Fence, Guitars and Other Patterns” page. Here’s an image:

The Edge Tie Dye's Blue Fame design

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After soaking the shirts in soda ash prior to staining, can I rinse and dry, then stain?

Name: Sabrina
Country or region: US
Message: This is my first time tye dying and it’s for my husbands 40th 70’s themed birthday party. After soaking the shirts in soda ash prior to staining, can I rinse and dry, then stain? Or do they have to be wet?

Do not rinse out the soda ash before applying the dye! The soda ash must be in the shirt at the same time as the dye. It does not matter whether you let the soda ash dry in the shirt before applying the dye, as long as you do not wash it out first.

Note that soda ash works only for fiber reactive dyes, such as Procion MX dyes. It will not make other types of dye, such as Rit all-purpose dye, more permanent. It is important to choose a good dye for tie-dyeing. (See my page, How to Tie Dye.) The dye included in tie-dyeing kits almost always works very well.

Be sure the shirts you are dyeing are made of 100% cotton. If they contain polyester, the colors will be pale.

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