Free shipping on $35+ Use code: FREESHIP

Whether this is your first tie dye or you have pro status, there are lots of different tie dyeing techniques to try. We love this classic spiral technique. Simply prep your item, twist and dye! 

This tutorial will explain how to master spiral tie dye patterns, step by step:

What you need:

  • 100% cotton shirt or garment (white works best!)
  • Doodle Hog Tie Dye Kit of your choice. Our kits contain everything you need to create colorful designs, including dye, soda ash, gloves, and ties.
  • Disposable table covering or tarp
  • Raised wire rack, such as a baker's cooling rack

    Here are a few basic ideas and techniques to try: 

    Before You Start

    Wash your garment before using and soak in soda ash for up to 15 minutes before starting to dye your shirt 

    Before you begin tie dyeing, you'll want to wash your t-shirt and then soak it in a soda ash solution for at least 30 minutes. Fully emerge your t-shirt in a soda ash water mixture (1 packet of Doodle Hog soda ash to 3.75 cups of water). After soaking your t-shirt, wring out any excess liquid, but don't rinse it.

    What's the purpose of soda ash? The solution serves as a pretreatment to prepare the material for dyeing. Soda ash, also called sodium carbonate, helps the fibers better absorb the dye by increasing the pH level of the fabric. Science-y stuff aside, pretreating the material will give you brighter results.


    Step 1 Prep Your Shirt

    Take your garment and lay it flat on your work surface. Determine where you would like your spiral. If you want the design to start in the center, pinch the center of the garment and begin to twist. Continue to twist your garment and help the pleats move until the entire item is in a spiral form.

    Step 2 Fold and Secure

    Take 3-4 rubber bands and secure your garment. Overlap your rubber bands so they all cross in the center of your spiral shape. The more rubber bands you use, the more wedge shapes you will have.

    Step 3 Add Color

    Add your dye, coloring the wedge shapes. You can use as many colors as you’d like from 2 to 10! Once you are done with one side, flip your garment over and add dye on the back following the same dye pattern as the front.

    If you want more white in your final product, skip some wedges. For a more colorful shirt, gently separate the swirl design and fill with color.

    Step 4 Let Dye Set, Wash and Wear

    When you are finished dyeing your shirt, place it in a plastic bag or wrap in plastic wrap and let sit for 12-24 hours. The longer you let your dye sit, the more the colors will stick.

    After 12-24 hours, wash and rinse your tie dye in cold water until the water runs clear. Remove the rubber bands and rinse again, removing extra dye. Wash your shirt and wear!



    Double Spiral

    To make multiple swirls in your garment first determine where you would like your swirls to be.


    Once the fabric is wrapped, tie the twine to one end with a double knot and wrap tightly around the fabric until you reach the other end. 

    We like the swirls being on opposite sides of of the garment. Begin to pinch and twist your shirt with both spirals at the same time. Continue twisting until you’ve reached the end of the garment. Secure with rubber bands.


    Follow the Swirl


    Start your shirt the same way you would a regular spiral shirt by deciding where you would like your spiral and twist your garment until entire item is in a spiral form. 



    Interested in more tie dye how to’s? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram or visit our blog for more inspiration.

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published