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topic 10533

Rit dye for tie-dyeing?


I know this may be out of context, but I was wanting to do a tie-dye project with Children and didn't want to use the toxic dyes/Soda Ash so was wondering if anyone had experience using Rit dye on cotton t-shirts?

Any response would be very much appreciated.

Sarah von Fange
- North Adams, Massachusetts


Rit Dye [affil. link to product info on Amazon] works fine. As a youngster when Tie dying was the rage, I created many a wonderful eyewatering T shirt!

Good luck

Tom H.

Tom Haltmeyer
- Peoria, Arizona


RIT is perfect for tie-dyeing, as I'm sure the RIT people will be happy to tell you. Soak the finished shirts in hot or boiling very salted water to set the dye more permanently. Washing the t-shirts before allowing children to wear them will avoid having tie-dyed children, but if you don't,the dye does come off kids with just a little scrubbing, assuming you can get them to hold still long enough.

Bob Zonis
- Bohemia, New York


RIT dye fades quickly and does not have a variety of vivid color options. Grateful Dyes somewhere in Colorado has some fantastic dyes that when used with a setting solution create a chemical reaction in the plant fiber of your fabric. These are safe dyes for kids but mercilessly permanent. The colors are stunningly bright. Last time I ordered from them I chastised them for not having a web site.

Craig Whitaker
- Aurora, Illinois


There is no reason to believe that all-purpose dye, such as Rit brand dye, is any less toxic than fiber reactive dyes, such as the Procion [affil. link to product info on Amazon] MX type dyes from Grateful Dyes. However, the recommended technique for tie-dyeing with Rit dye requires that you submerge your garments in simmering hot water; if you want to do a tie-dye with several different bright or intense colors, this requires thirty minutes, for each color, of holding the garment partially submerged in a scalding hot dyebath of that color. The soda ash technique for cold water fiber reactive dyes is much faster, safer, and easier! See my own non-commercial web site of instructions for dyeing:

Paula Burch, Ph.D.
- Houston, Texas


Setting tie-dyed shirts? I tie-died shirts and am having a problem getting the dye to set; it keeps turning the shirts brown what do I do?

Elisha Brewer
church youth group - Citrus Heights, California


I had always used RIT dyes in the past (Because there wasn't much else). My son is now 6 and really wanted to do a tie dyed shirt since last year. I bought RIT because I didn't have any experience with anything else. I kept putting it off because it is so messy and time consuming. This summer we had a chance to experience the soda ash setting method and it is so much cleaner and nicer. You don't have to soak the shirt in each color and after soaking in the soda ash for about 15-20 minutes, it was ready to have the colors squirted on it. It took 24 hours and both my son and husband have wonderfully tie dyed shirts. I would recommend the soda ash method over the hot water & tubs any day.

Kim Wilson
- Montrose, Michigan

August 7, 2010

Actually there is an easy and effective way to use RIT - by microwaving it after applying the dye - works really good. You can find instructions right on their web site.

wander lander
- milwaukee Wisconsin

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