Pinterest Tested #1 – Tie Dye Tights

For our first Pinterest Tested project, we wanted to do something simple, but fun too! Something practical that, if it turned out, would be usable!
I’d been eyeing this tie dye tights project:

You can find the original blog HERE! The directions seemed easy and the tights, in the post, seemed to turn out beautifully…so, it seemed like we should try our hands at it!

I enlisted “Ninja Intern Forever” Amber to assist me in our test. She’s always ready, willing, and able…and she brought champagne over!

First, our ingredients! A lot of the items you need for this project is either stuff you have on hand or inexpensive stuff you can purchase .

1. String – we used a polyester yarn…because it was the closest thing I could grab from my yarn stash. It worked perfectly.
2. Kool-Aid – The Kool-Aid came in packs of three. We bought cherry, grape, and fruit punch. Don’t make the same mistake I did and buy both cherry and fruit punch, as they are both red.
3. Food Coloring – All we could find was gel food coloring. Still, it was great. High impact pigment and playful colors.
4. Tongs or Spoons – Both work, but tongs are handy when you’re grabbing your tights out of hot water.
5. Medium Sized Pots – The Denver Craft Ninjas has a surplus of pots from past projects so we had about 5 pots of dye going at the same time.
6. Hot Plate or Stove
7. Vinegar – Just like dyeing Easter eggs.
8. Nylon Tights – We picked white, but any light color will do.
Also, it doesn’t hurt to be close to a sink with cold water. Oh, and champagne.

Basically, this project works like any other tie dye project. For me, it was all new, but Amber had done some tie dyeing as a kid.

As you can see, we just sorta tied up the tights in whatever configuration struck us. It was fun to determine the kind of tension to use and just how much of our dye would seep into fabric tucked away. This is definitely a part of the project where you can add your own creative touches.

Next, to the dipping!

We used regular sized sauce pans to warm the water on the stove or hot plate – having both is nice for multiple pans of dye.  To add color, we simply poured one envelope of Kool-Aid to the pan or 1/4 cup of vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of food color gel. Once the colored water starts to steam, it’s go time!
Turn off the heat and immerse your tights or dip them in until you feel the tights have reached a color that suits you.

Then you’ll quickly whisk the tights from the dye to a sink to be rinsed with cool water.
Remember, the water you’ve dipped them in is hot – be careful when rinsing and untying them.

Honestly, it’s pretty exciting to see the tights come out of the dye and reveal cool variations in color and pattern. We “oohed” and “aahed” a lot.

And once you get started…it’s hard to stop! We bought 6 pairs of tights and cranked through all of them trying new tying techniques and dyeing styles.

This one was dipped once in the pink food coloring dye and then re-wrapped and dipped in the remaining purple Kool-Aid dye.

And this multi-colored pair was just a mash-up of all the colors we had used.

The final product was such a pleasant surprise to us!

A couple of things about this project:

-Once you dip a pair of tights in the dye, expect that the intensity of the dye will diminish. Although it is mentioned in the tutorial we used, we figure it’s important to mention. You’ll get one really bright pair of tights out of one pan, but subsequent dips will be more subtle.

-In the tutorial, there was a problem with the color breaking. “Breaking” is when the color components come apart. In general, we didn’t have this issue, although in retrospect it seems like the purple may have broken a little revealing reds and blues, but the result was interesting.

-Don’t cook your tights. It’s probably not good for them. When the water starts to steam…it’s ready. No need to have the water simmer.

We hope that our experiment prompts you to give this project a try. We can’t wait to see people walking around in super cute colorful tights that they’ve made more lovely!

Stay tuned! More Pinterest Tested to come!

1 Comment

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One response to “Pinterest Tested #1 – Tie Dye Tights

  1. Very cool! I might have to try this one- I’m certainly on a tights/leggings kick lately.

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