How to Spiral Tie Dye a T-Shirt

How to Spiral Tie Dye a T-Shirt

Spiral tie dye is iconic.

The swirling mix of custom colors on a t-shirt or sweatshirt is the absolute classic look.

The design of the spiral tie dye seems very difficult. It can be easy to put it all together if you know the right steps.

I am sharing with you detailed instructions on how to make spiral tie dye.

At the bottom of the post tie dye shorts, I have printed instructions for the project, but they are just the basics.

If you would like to purchase some of our tie dye creations, you can check out our shop.

The first thing you should do is read the whole post to get all the important tips and tricks.

I may earn a commission if you make a purchase from any of the links in this post. You can read my full statement.

Spiral Tie Dye Supplies

You can make a spiral tie dye design on a lot of items, like masks, sweatshirts, tote bags, and even bed sheets.

One of my most popular posts was my Tie Dye Hoodie.

The same process can be used on just about any item, so keep that in mind.

It is easy to find the supplies you will need for the project.

  • A white cotton t-shirt
  • Rubber bands
  • Dye
  • Squeeze bottles
  • Disposable gloves
  • A ziploc bag
  • A fork

A tie dye kit is a must for beginners. rubber bands, squeeze bottles, and disposable gloves are some of the items that are included in most tie dye kits.

I highly recommend these kits. They are easy to use and come with everything you need to get started.

You’re probably wondering about the fork.

It seems like an odd thing to add. Don’t laugh yet because it’s absolutely key to this process. You will understand as you read more.

The Prep Work

The most important step in the process is the prep work.

The spiral tie dye pattern won’t work if you don’t prepare.

Work Space

The first thing you need to do is find a workspace.

Tie dye can be harmful. It will dye anything it comes in contact with, including clothes.

Don’t let this scare you, you’re a beginner. I recommend that you work outside when applying the dye.

There are places inside a house that are more appropriate if you can’t make spiral tie dye outside.

I used my favorite cleaning product, Bar Keepers Friend, for this project, as it is easy to clean up with bleach and can be used again.

I used an old under bed box to protect the surface of the shower stall I used for my Ice Tie Dye project.

If you want to do tie dye projects, you should always wear old clothes. You don’t want to ruin your favorite shirt or jeans in the process, because it’s so easy to get it on your clothes.

Getting Your Shirt Ready

You will need to prepare your shirt once you have an appropriate workspace.

You need to wash anything you plan to tie dye on.

Chemicals are put on new items to keep them from wrinkling and from being stored for a long time.

It is a good idea to give them a good wash.

Don’t wash your t-shirt with too much detergent. Don’t add fabric enhancers to the cycle You want your shirt to be clean.

Don’t dry your shirt after it’s washed.

The dye will spread quicker on a shirt that is slightly damp.

Creating the Spiral Tie Dye Pattern

The spiral tie dye pattern is the most important step.

Determine where you want the center of your spiral to be by laying a damp shirt out on a flat surface.

We went with the center of the shirt, but you could put it on the side or on the shoulder.

It will be difficult to get your pattern secured with rubber bands if you choose to do that.

Here is where your fork comes in!

To get the spiral tie dye effect to work, you need to spin the shirt into a tight spiral and the rubber bands to hold it.

It’s difficult to do this by pinching the shirt.

You can use a fork to hold the center of your design.

To get the center of your spiral, pinch the fabric up. You want the fabric to be about an inch or two smaller.

The fork has two middle tongs.

Use your other hand to hold the spiral in place.

You have to keep turning until you get the shirt around the fork.

Try to make sure the natural folds in the shirt are the same size.

The goal is for the disk to be roughly uniform.

The rubber bands need to be put on before you can remove the fork. Do not disturb the nice, neat t-shirt puck you just created if you remove it.

If this is hard, you should have a helpers.

I ask my teenagers to hold the fork for me while I wind the fabric around it. Some days I can do it on my own, and other days I need help.

You need to put rubber bands on your shirt disk. This can be a challenge.

You want the bands to hold the shirt in place, but not so tightly that it causes the shirt to fall apart.

Use great care when wrapping your bands.

Applying the Dye

The fun part of spiral tie dying is when you twirled your shirt and secured it with rubber bands.

Mixing the tie dye

Put your shirt in your workspace and mix it up with the package directions.

You need to put on your gloves for this part.

Adding water to the squeeze bottles was necessary since a premeasured amount of dye powder was inside them.

You’re kit may require a bit more measuring.

The package says mix it up.

How To Spiral Tie Dye

You need to apply the dye in a specific way to achieve the spiral pattern.

The wedge shape is where the colors need to be applied.

You will know what I am talking about if you have ever played the game.

Each slice of the shirt disk is a different color.

If you want to leave white space between the wedges, you can. It will change the pattern a bit, but it will still give you that cool spiral tie dye look.

If you want a tie dye spiral design with it, you need to leave white space between the wedges.

The spiral might give you a decent effect if you leave space. I don’t have experience with a single color spiral so I haven’t tried it myself.

If you want the spiral to start when your shirt is done, you have to get that color all the way to the center.

You can continue the pattern on the other side if you flip the shirt over. It is important to match the colors to the opposite side of the shirt.

If you are working with a basic rainbow of colors like we did, you should put them in the proper order so that the colors blend well.

If you don’t use colors that blend well, leave some white space between them.

Each wedge of color is roughly the same size for a tie dye spiral. If you want to change the look of your shirt, you can.

To get good color saturation, apply the dye generously. It’s important that it soaks through to the middle of the t-shirt disk.

The Waiting

Place your item in a bag after you apply your dye to make your spiral tie dye pattern.

This will keep the dye from moving onto other surfaces and will also keep the shirt wet so the dye can adhere to the fibers of the shirt.

You have to find a safe place to store your shirt.

Tie dye is a great craft, but it is not for people who want immediate results. It takes time to set those colors.

The directions said to wait six to eight hours. We like to wait at least 24 hours before we start.

The longer you wait, the brighter the colors will be, and 24 hours seems to be a good time to get great color.

If you don’t want bright vibrant colors and want more of a pastels, you could open it early. It will be hit or miss with how dark it gets. There are better ways to make pastels.

Finishing Your Spiral Tie Dye

For this part, you want your gloves on.

After your wait time is over, return to your work space and remove the shirt from your bag to rinse it.

The water coming out of the shirt should be clear.

At this point, you can unbundle it, but I like to run under the water before I take the rubber bands off. The colors are kept from bleeding over too much by removing a lot of the color while it is still in the original shape.

The rinse and squeeze routine seems to get the dye out of the shirt quickly.

Once the water is clear, you can wash your spiral tie dye shirt by yourself, using only detergent and no laundry detergents.

The dye may still be in the shirt.

If you want to set the dye, dry the shirt on high heat.

Now your shirt is ready to wear!!

The spiral tie dye turns out great.

I have followed these steps many times and have yet to have a failure.

Have you tried spiral tie dyes? Tell me how it went.

These easy instructions can be used to create a spiral tie dye pattern. Prep Time 15 minutes Active Time 30 minutes Additional Time 1 day Total Time 45 minutes Difficulty Easy

Dye Tools Rubber bands

  • Squeeze bottles
  • Disposable gloves
  • Ziploc bag

An appropriate space to work in will be undamaged by the tie dye process. Don’t dry it, wash it. It’s better to leave it damp. Put your shirt out on the floor. The center of your tie dye is where you want it to be. The shirt needs to be twirled into a disk. Put rubber bands on the shirt. The dye should be applied in a wedge formation. Place the shirt in the bag. Remove the bag and the shirt from it. Wait until the water runs clear. You can wash your shirt yourself. Tie dye can cause damage. Use extreme caution. It is not recommended for children. The full post contains detailed instructions. I earn money from purchases I make as an Amazon Associate and member of other programs. The Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye Kit has a bonus color.

Spiral Tie Dye: A DIY Tutorial


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