How can I tie-dye Zebra stripes?

Name: debbie
Message: I want to tie dye t-shirts with "zebra type" stripes. How can I fold the fabric to do that? We're doing an African theme camp and I want shirts that look like animal prints!
Thanks for your help!

I dyed a very nice tiger striped outfit for my baby once (years ago). I accordion-pleated the waist, several horizontal pleats to lengthen the design vertically, before folding and tying it in a standard sort of spiral (centered on the gathered pleats), dyed it in orange and yellow, then soaked one side in a shallow pan of black dye. The stripes came out surprisingly naturalistic. All you'd have to do differently for Zebra stripes is omit the color. This is related to the 'stained glass' spiral, in which a shirt is tied in a spiral and dyed in bright colors before briefly laying it in a shallow pan of black.

Michael Fowler of has an illustration (free of charge) of how to tie a spiral fold, and a downloadable movie (for $2) showing how to do an "Indian Spiral," his term for a combination of spiral and accordion.

Be sure to use fiber reactive dyes, such as Procion MX dye, not all purpose dyes! Use soda ash to fix the dyes. To find a good source for your dye, if you don't already have one, see my list of different companies that mail-order fiber reactive dye.

Posted: Thursday - April 07, 2005 at 08:04 PM          

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