fabric manipulation pARTy

last saturday night i hosted a fabric manipulation pARTy. it was a ton of work, but completely worth it!


the main event of the night involved buckets and buckets of dye. i bought about 8 colors of rit dye, in both liquid and powder form. (fyi, liquid is definitely worth the extra dollar — the powdered dyes lost their punch really quickly.) i asked everyone to bring their own items to manipulate: there were t-shirts, dish towels, scarves, sheets, little girl’s dresses…

dogs were not dyed

i had 2-3 buckets of dye going at a time. it was so fun watching the experiments… i had thought about printing out instructions on how to create effects when tie-dying, but everyone figured out really cool patterns on their own. and everyone shared their successes: what happens when you roll the fabric and just dip it? what happens when you don’t get the fabric wet before dying? what happens when you just fold the fabric and dip in the edges?

it's all so pretty!

we also revisited the 80′s, and “acid washed” old t-shirts by spraying them with a bleach/water combo.

lisa's shirt

another fun thing we did was painting with bleach pens, à la amy karol‘s bend the rules with fabric.

bleach pen work

it was really neat to see how each fabric took the bleach: when used on denim, the bleach created white lines. but on black? we saw oranges, pinks, reds.

bleach pen work

also happening inside: fabric painting using my stash of fabric paints from last summer’s fabric printing pARTy. a couple of my friends created stencils with contact paper and applied the paint with sponges. it helped to have a few projects going at a time, so if there weren’t dye buckets going with the colors one wanted, they could use the bleach pens or fabric paints.

dish towel

i stopped taking photos once the sun went down. but we kept going. we dyed in the dark. we dyed while being eaten alive by mosquitoes. more photos of finished projects will come in the next few days!

12 responses to “fabric manipulation pARTy”

  1. jess says:

    I hope no doggies were dyed in the experience! I have a vision of a waggy tail getting dipped.
    That looks like tons of fun!

  2. Rebecca says:

    That’s so much fun! I’m definitely going to order some liquid dyes. I’ve used dylon powder dyes up until now and it’s so messy.. I like the sound of being able to pour in as much liquid dye as I want, rather than have to use a whole sachet of powder. I love the dip dying effects! Can’t wait to see more photos.

  3. vanessa says:

    this looks like such a fun idea! I have played with the bleach pens before but have had issues with the way it ‘bleeds’ maybe I just needed a not so detialed design?

  4. Anna says:

    Yay! I had so much fun and really needed that night despite my exhaustion from birthday party throwing that afternoon. Like I said – annual event! We need to be able to build on what we learned.

  5. mon ami says:

    dang it! yet another reason I wish we lived closer

  6. Valentina says:

    Sounds like a perfect party to me! :)

  7. Lisa says:

    My daughter loves the dip dyed, acid wash dress I created for her.

  8. Florcita says:

    This looks like so much fun! Im not really sure I know what acid dyes are, but fun fun fun! :)

  9. rachel awes says:

    my heart is singing
    as i read this post!
    dipped in delight,
    bleached in bliss.xo

  10. Fiona says:

    I’ve got to do some tie dying for a hippie party at the weekend. Pity I couldn’t have done it at yours. Just one step too far.

  11. cindy says:

    you absolutely have the best pARTy’s. you’re always doing something new and fun!

  12. la ninja says:

    hey, you hippie tie&dye chick! :)
    sounds like it was fun (minus the mosquitos)