This reverse tie dye process results in brilliant colored traditional tie dye designs on a black background.
Supplies for black tie dye….
Reverse tie dying is also known as black tie dye. The areas that would be white in a traditional tie dye will be black in this tie dying method.
Here’s what you’ll need to get started with black tie dying….
- a bleach tie dyed shirt
- fabric dye- I love these easy Tulip tie dye kits
- rubber bands
- hose or water source
- old cardboard or paper to protect work surface
- plastic or bags to wrap damp t-shirts
Begin reverse tie dye with a bleached tie dye shirt…
This reverse tie dye process begins with a dark t-shirt or other fabric that has had areas of color removed with bleach.
The dark fabric and light tie dye designs is what “reverses” the tie dye process. Dark areas remain black while the bleached areas will absorb bright new color.
The bleached tie dye process is simple and quick. You can see all the steps to the bleaching process here. I love these graphic designs on their own too – so trendy!
The reverse dying process….
The areas that are black in this black tie dying process will remain black. The bleached areas will be dyed the color of your choice. The beauty of tie dying on a black background is that the dye can be applied to the light areas without worrying about overlapping the black. The black fabric will hide any ovelap.
Lay the shirt down flat on a covered surface. We worked outside but still laid some old packing paper down on the grass. We tried dying both a dry and a damp t-shirt. Both had similar results so feel free to experiment with what you prefer!
Mix up your fabric dye according to the directions. If you’re using the Tulip dyes all you need to do is add water and shake.
Apply the dye to the bleached area of your fabric. Because we dyed more area than we would with a typical tie dye design it did require more dye. Periodically peek at the back side of the shirt to be sure the dye has soaked through both layers, adding it where needed.
Although the black areas separate the brightly colored dyed areas there may still be some overlap. Choose colors that will blend well when mixed to use next to each other. If you choose colors that are opposites on the color wheel (complementary colors) like orange and blue, purple and yellow, or red and green you’ll get brown anywhere the two colors mix!
It’s time to wait…
Once the dye has been applied to the black tie dye it’s time to wait. Wrap your shirt in plastic- think Cling Wrap or even a plastic bag that might have been otherwise discarded. Take care to keep areas of the shirt from touching areas dyed a different color.
Follow directions on your dye but most will require the dye to sit for at least 4-6 hours. I recommend leaving the shirts sit overnight for the most vibrant colors!
Rinsing your reverse tie dye shirt….
Unroll or unfold your shirt, removing all the plastic. Use clean water to rinse any excess dye from your shirt. We used a hose and rinsed the water directly down an outside drain.
Throw the wet shirts into the dryer on the hottest setting to further set the dye.
Wash your reverse tie dyed t-shirts separately the first time or two to ensure that any extra dye still rinsing out doesn’t stain other clothing in the load!