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A popular activity at birthday parties, tie-dyeing is an approachable craft for all ages that results in fun, wearable art. While the vibrant, psychedelic designs we are most familiar with today hark back to 1960s counterculture, the history of resist dyeing dates back thousands of years, with varying techniques used to color textiles around the world. A practice that cultivates happy accidents, tie-dyeing encourages experimentation with patterns and dye applications. Material can be folded, twisted, or bound using household items such as rubber bands, clothespins, Popsicle sticks, and thread to create a unique resist pattern. Though T-shirts are most commonly used, there is no shortage of options for what can be dyed, from socks and dish towels to bags and pillowcases. For best results, stick with natural fibers such as cotton, silk, and linen and stay away from synthetic materials, which may not dye well. Our picks below will help you find the best at-home tie-dye kit for your needs.
1. Jacquard Tie Dye Kit
This tie-dye kit from Jacquard, a trusted brand for professional results, will help you create unique designs in intense, long-lasting colors. The kit includes premeasured dyes and fixer, vinyl gloves, rubber bands, squirt bottles, soda ash, and even an instructional DVD and brochure. The red, yellow, and blue dyes can be mixed together to create any variety of color combinations, and you get enough to color up to 15 adult T-shirts. This kit does require one more step than others: presoaking fabric in a soda ash mixture that acts as a dye fixative, for superior color retention and highly vibrant hues that are machine washable.
2. Rit Indigo Shibori Tie Dye Kit
This is an excellent choice for those wanting to create indigo-dyed pieces inspired by shibori, a traditional Japanese resist-dying technique. The kit includes an eight-ounce bottle of all-purpose indigo dye, which is compatible with fabrics including cotton, wool, silk, linen, and more, plus a dye fixative to lock in and protect colors from bleeding or fading. It also supplies heavy-duty gloves to protect hands, rubber bands, easy-to-follow instructions, and acrylic squares to wrap your fabric around. The kit is a great option for those who shy away from the technicolor dye kits and prefer to experiment with a more refined technique that yields striking patterns.
3. Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye Kit
The Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye Kit is great for all ages and classroom or other group activities. It includes 14 bright and nontoxic dye colors in 18 easy-squeeze bottles, enough for up to 36 projects. You also get six pairs of gloves, 90 rubber bands to secure your fabrics once bound, a plastic surface cover to protect tables, and a step-by-step guide with fun project ideas. Tulip’s one-step process eliminates the need for presoaking fabrics in soda ash, so you can get straight to creating by just adding water. And when used on natural fabrics the highly concentrated dyes won’t fade, even with repeated machine washing.
4. Kid Made Modern Rainbow Tie Dye Craft Kit
We love Kid Made Modern’s craft kits for their child-friendly activities packed with high-quality materials, and this product is no exception. Ideal for users ages eight and up, this kit comes with six bright and beautiful dyes including green, pink, and yellow, 10 clothespins and rubber bands to keep twisted fabrics together, four pairs of gloves, and four pipettes to squeeze out color. The pipettes allow you to have a bit more control over the dye application while teaching young ones motor control. Once the fabric is air dried, we recommend heat-setting the dyes with an iron or clothes dryer for a result that is permanent and machine washable.
5. Tulip Electric Neons Tie-Dye Kit
For tie-dyed creations that truly pop, consider Tulip’s neon-themed kit. The included dyes present shocking electric colors under natural light and, because they’re UV reactive, deliver extra pizzazz when exposed to black light. You get neon orange, neon pink, neon yellow, and neon green—all ready to use with no mixing required. Simply shake the bottles and apply through the precision nozzle. Note that the colors do wash out the more you run fabrics through the washing machine.