Sunday, November 6, 2011

Dye Design T-shirts with Sharpies - The real deal

So, uh ehm, it seems there's a bit more to dyeing t-shirts with Sharpies than I realized.

Here I was a few days ago, "Ooh, look at me and my ultra cool Sharpie dyed t-shirt!"

And then last night I washed it.
[Wah, wah, wahhhhhh...] 
It went from fabulous to faded in a matter of minutes.

*See how this t-shirt was made, using Sharpies and rubbing alcohol.

And I thought I had done everything right, according to Sharpie's blog.

 So what went wrong?
I didn't use 100% cotton fabric. 
I used 50% polyester 50% cotton.
Dang Poly blend.  

According to Guidezone
     *...If you use a blend fabric, only the cotton part dyes, and your results will be substantially paler than you hoped for.  

And from Dharma Trading Co
    * Any natural fiber is great for tie-dye: cotton, rayon, hemp, linen, ramie etc. If you can’t find 100% natural shirts a 90% cotton and 10% polyester or lycra is ok, but avoid 50/50 blends that come out very pale.

Alrighty then. Should have read that before starting my project.

So the question remained. 
Would Sharpie-dyed designs - on cotton - retain their color after washing? 
Turns out my little test strip was 100% cotton. 
I had to put it to the test. 

100% Cotton test strip with Sharpie Dye
BEFORE washing; after 15 minutes in a hot dryer to set color.

STEP 1: Rinsed in a bucket of cold water. Minimal bleeding.
(*try first adding vinegar to the rinse water to help stop bleeding)

(*I didn't use vinegar yet) 
STEP 2: Washed with detergent in cold water. Appears to lose a bit of color.

STEP 3: When given a final rinse with cold water and vinegar, appears fine 
(*try this before detergent)

Sharpie Dyed t-shirts on 100% cotton can be washed with minimal fading!
(cheers from the stands)
When fully dry, colors did bleed a little though. So be prepared for that. 
You may get little faint color displaced around the shirt .

Not all is lost. There will be another Sharpie Dyed T-shirt in my future!

Had any luck? I'd love to hear your Sharpie Dye success stories!

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