How much dye to tie-dye 120 plain white cotton t-shirts?
Message: I am going to be tie dying 120 plain white cotton t-shirts, I was just wondering how much dye I would need to do so?
Will you be using fiber reactive dye, such as Procion dye, or all-purpose dye, such as Rit dye?
I can't recommend the use of all-purpose dyes, because the results are poor; the colors bleed together when you wash them, and they fade quickly. They also cost more. 120 shirts requires about 120 boxes of all-purpose dye, for a total cost of about $300.
For Procion MX dye, which gives much better results with no need for hot water, the usual amount to buy for a hundred shirts is 6 two-ounce jars, so you should do fine with a hundred and twenty shirts by getting 7 two-ounce jars, plus 5 pounds of urea, 10 pounds of soda ash, plastic bottles, disposable gloves, and a dust mask to wear while measuring out dyes.
Alternatively, you can buy one 100-person tie-dye party pack plus one 25-person tie-dye party pack, from a good mail-order dye supplier such as PRO Chemical & Dye or Dharma Trading Company.
Or, you could buy eight boxes of the Jacquard tie-dye kit, the one that's big enough for fifteen shirts, though this would be less economical than the larger kits. These are often available at your local arts and crafts store. (Avoid the famous-brand tie-dye kits that contain all-purpose dye.)
Be sure to buy 100% cotton shirts, not cotton/poly blends, and don't buy any shirts that are labeled as being stain-resistant, because stain-resistant shirts will also resist dye.
The amount of dye you actually end up using will vary according to how intensely colored you like your shirts. Pastel colors require much less dye than bright, dark, or intense colors do. To get pastel colors, just use less dye powder when you dissolve it in water.
For instructions and more information, see "How to Dye" and "How to Tie Dye".
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Posted: Tuesday - November 03, 2009 at 01:24 PM