How to Tye Dye

Many of the Global Mamas use tie dye methods to produce colorful calico fabrics and clothing. This gives an alternative to stamping, as is used in Batik, to create one-of-a-kind patterns for our customers across the world.

There are three different methods of tie dying used by the Global Mamas in Ghana.  These include tying, squeezing and stitching.  Each method yields a different and unique result and can be used on many types of fabrics and clothing items. To learn how to tye dye, follow these tie dye instructions from the Global Mamas themselves.

Tie Dye Instructions: Item to Tie Dye
A t-shirt or any other item will do: pants, socks, sheets or a curtain. You can also tye dye calico fabrics (100% light cotton fabric) to sew into another item later. Make sure the item is at least 60 percent cotton. Prewash the fabric. Some dyes may require you to presoak your calico fabric or clothing in a wash of sodium carbonate, also known as soda ash dye fixer. Do not confuse this with sodium bicarbonate, which is baking soda!

Tye dye: squeezing technique

Tie Dye Instructions: Dye
Beginners can use the common Rit dye, or advanced tie dyers may use more complicated and higher quality fiber reactive dyes.

Tie Dye Instructions: Other Supplies

  • Rubber Bands or String
  • Large Needle (for "Stitch Work" technique)
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Large Bucket or Pot
  • Long-Handled Utensil
  • Plastic and/or rags to keep area clean
>> Continue to Tie Dye Patterns

Final product: squeeze technique