How to Tie Dye Underwear

Three Parts:Preparing the underwearPreparing for dyeingDyeing the underwear

This article will help you to have some fun dyeing your new underwear. Whether the new white underwear you've just purchased is bland or just not to your liking, tie dyeing will make it more creative and personalized. Plus, it's very easy to do, and you'll only need the underwear and a few basic supplies.

Part 1
Preparing the underwear

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    Buy a package of your favorite solid white 100% cotton underwear. The elastic won't dye, but everything else will. You should get four to six pairs of underpants per package.
    • Check your size before purchasing. Consider going one size larger in case they shrink.
    • Pre-wash the underwear and remove any stickers.
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    Get a container to soak the underwear in soda ash. You can buy the soda ash at a craft store. Soda ash helps the dye to work better. Soak all the clothes for at least 20 minutes, and stir. You can also add a little salt. When you are ready to dye, squeeze out the water.

Part 2
Preparing for dyeing

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    Prepare your fabric dyeing area by covering it with plastic or work outside. Get everything handy to dye. If you want the same results each time, use measuring cups. The other items needed are listed in Things You'll Need below.
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    Use good quality permanent dyes. Procion is one good choice but other brands of dye will do. If you want, you can buy pre-mixed dyes.
    • Remember the rules: Red and blue make purple, yellow and blue make green and red and yellow make orange. If you mix, say red and green, you will get a funky brown.

Part 3
Dyeing the underwear

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    Consider folding, rubber banding and string tying first before dyeing. For example, a spiral can be made by making a circle twisted in the middle. There are many ideas for folds, tying, and wrapping; experiment a little to find the designs that you like the most.
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    Decide what colors you want to use and make them up either in a bottle, or in small amounts you can mix and pour this dye onto the tray. This technique uses very little water. Think of it as just a puddle of color. Separate the folds and add more dye if you want more color, otherwise there could be too much white left after dyeing.
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    Complete all of one color of the dyeing, then go with another. You can use a dye in concentrated form or sprinkle the dry power for intense color. Allow the dyed underwear to sit in plastic bags or glass jars until all of the dye is absorbed into the cloth.
    • Follow the package instructions for the particular dye you've chosen.
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    Un-do the rubber bands, string, etc. Rinse in flowing water until all the excess dye is washed out.
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    Transport the underwear on the tray and wash them by machine without any other clothes. Wash using a gentle hand wash cycle. Use a very mild soap.
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    Place in the dryer on low. When dried, you will have some great new underwear.


  • Remember to let your dyed items sit overnight before you rinse them.


  • Do not use any food containers you still want to use for food––use only disposable containers.
  • Having a mask is recommended because it is not good to breathe in dye particles. Once it is wet, it is okay.
  • Adult supervision is needed for children doing this project.

Things You'll Need

  • Underwear (white)
  • Soda ash
  • Spray bottle (for the water and soda ash)
  • Salt
  • Container for soaking (such as a plastic tub)
  • Permanent dye in color of choice
  • Rubber bands
  • String, scissors
  • Plastic to cover the table
  • Plastic storage bags
  • Paper towels
  • Small bottles for dye
  • Tray to place the dye on
  • Measuring cups, stir spoon
  • Disposable containers (not for food use afterward, only for disposing of)
  • A plastic tube or pole to tie the fabric to (for stripes)
  • Mask
  • Rag for cleaning up
  • Washer and dryer
  • Craft stores (or Dharma Trading is a good place to get what you need)

Article Info

Categories: Fabric and Clothing Decoration