How To: Tie-Dye a Camouflage T-Shirt

By MDC | March 1, 2024
From Xplor: March/April 2024

Sure, you can buy camouflage clothes for turkey season, but where’s the fun in that? Here’s how to tie-dye your own at home.

Here’s What You Need

  • Plastic dropcloth or large trash bag
  • White T-shirt (100 percent cotton)
  • Rubber bands
  • Large pot or bucket
  • Soda ash (Look for it at craft stores.)
  • Tie-dye kit (Make sure the kit has green, brown, and black dyes.)
  • Three squeeze bottles
  • Plastic gloves
  • Paper towels
  • Paper plate
  • Gallon zip-top bag

Here’s What You Do

  1. Put on old clothes and place a plastic dropcloth over your work space. Remember: Fabric dye will stain whatever it touches, including your skin.
  2. Lay your T-shirt flat on a table. Starting in the middle of the shirt, scrunch up the fabric until you’ve made a flat, round bundle with lots of wrinkles.
  3. Put lots of rubber bands around the bundle to hold it tightly together.
  4. In a large pot or bucket, mix half a cup of soda ash with a gallon of warm water. Soak your bundled-up shirt in the water for an hour. While it’s soaking, mix up the dye according to the kit’s directions. Fill each of the squeeze bottles with a different color.
  5. Put on plastic gloves and remove your shirt from the soda ash water. Lay the bundle flat and push out as much water as you can.
  6. Stack 10 paper towels on a paper plate. Place the bundle on the towels. Using squeeze bottles, soak the top third of the bundle with green dye, the middle third with brown dye, and the lower third with black dye. Flip the bundle over and do the same thing on the other side. Make sure dye soaks well into the shirt or you’ll have lots of white areas.
  7. Put the bundle in a zip-top bag and leave it there for 24 hours.
  8. Take off the rubber bands and rinse the shirt in cold water until no more dye flows out. For the brightest colors, let the shirt dry in the sun. Then wash it by itself in cold water using normal laundry detergent. Run it through the dryer, and it’s ready to wear.

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