The reverse technique was discovered after I accidentally spilled some bleach on my son’s wadded-up navy socks. After experimenting with a grubby T-shirt and jeans, we decided the process and results were just as fun as the traditional tie dyeing. And we added some pizzazz and character to otherwise worn-out clothing along the way! For safety’s sake, kids should do the tying , while an adult handles the bleach and water solution.
You will need:
- 100% cotton, colored T-shirts, jeans, or socks
- Liquid chlorine bleach
- Rubber bands and string
- Large bucket
- Rubber gloves
- Wooden spoon or stirring stick
Have kids scrunch portions of the fabric into little balls, binding them tightly with rubber bands. Or, fold the fabric accordion-style and tie it tightly together at intervals with string. An adult wearing rubber gloves then places the tied garments into the bleach solution — a bucket of hot water plus two cups of liquid chlorine bleach. Stir the garments occasionally, keeping an eye on the color changes taking place. Add more bleach, if necessary.
When satisfied with the look (the fabric will appear more faded when dry), transfer the garments to your washing machine, add the normal amount of laundry detergent, and run the regular wash and rinse cycle. Then remove the strings and rubber bands and allow the garments to dry.