Tie Dye Hoodie Instructions Update 06/2022

Tie-dye hoodies are worn by celebrities and sold by big-name brands, but have you bought one yet? Instead of spending money on an expensive, but eye-catching sweatshirt, create your own with a few basic materials. As a bonus, you can learn how to tie-dye your own hooded sweatshirt!

To make patterns like a starburst, stripes, or a bullseye on a hoodie, you can use a crumpled or folded and tied approach. Using ice and dye to create patterns on the hoodie is another popular hoodie tie-dye method. As an added bonus, you may create trendy patterns by using bleach to remove previous dye.

You’ll find out how to tie dye a sweatshirt in six different methods in this post. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to dye a zip-up hoodie, as well as how to properly handle it. In addition, you’ll learn how to create eye-catching designs like a starburst or a striped pattern.

How To Tie Dye Hoodie

Can You Tie-Dye a Hoodie?

There are a variety of ways to tie-dye a sweatshirt so that you can create unique, eye-catching patterns. Consider a few variables before getting started, however.

Is your hoodie made of a certain material? The inside of most sweatshirts is made of brushed fleece instead of the usual soft knit material. Known as sweatshirt fleece, this fabric may be made of both cotton and polyester, or even a combination of the two.

Tie-dyeing a hoodie fleece made of cotton is a simple process. Cotton has a high absorption rate for moisture, thus dyes soaked in water can be used to color it.

Instead of absorbing moisture, polyester disperses it, and it does not maintain its color very well. A large pot of boiling water and a lot of extra time and effort are required to tie-dye polyester!

Cotton hoodies are significantly easier to tie dye as a result of this.

Let’s talk about your hoodie’s color. This one should go without saying, but white cloth makes the color really pop! Adding yellow dye on a blue sweatshirt, for example, may result in a green sweatshirt due to the way the two colors merge.

If you’d like to experiment with bleach tie-dye, you’ll need to break this guideline. Hence, a black or dark-colored sweatshirt should be your first choice.

As a final step, setting up a work area is critical before beginning this project. You have to keep in mind that tie-dyeing hoodies is a really large undertaking! Compared to a T-shirt, they have a lot more weight and bulk when wet. So if you don’t mind pouring dye over your lawn, you’ll need a clean, well-protected area wrapped in protective plastic or an outdoor work area!

As an additional precaution, you should wear old clothing and rubber gloves. In order to prevent splotches of tie-dyed colors from staining your professional attire, wear the color only on your hoodie.

What Dye Should You Use?

Rit DyeMore Liquid Dye, Super Pink

Cotton sweatshirts may be dyed using most water-soluble colours. There are a few dyes that are more durable than others.

Fiber-reactive dyes have the advantage of being able to form molecular bonds with the fabric fibers. Even though they’re made from petrochemicals, they don’t contain any heavy metals or other potentially harmful substances.

Dharma, RIT, Jacquard, and Tulip are just a few of the big-name brands that provide fiber reactive dyes..

For tie-dyeing with children, you may want to use water-based, non-toxic products instead. Using this type of color with children has the added benefit of being easier to clean up afterward.

Most RIT products are water-soluble dyes, which means they just need to soak for a few minutes rather than overnight.

For the most part, these dyes come in pre-packaged sets that include everything you need to get started right away. After a few washes, water-based colors tend to fade quickly, making them unsuitable for long-term use.

How To Tie Dye Hoodie: 6 Methods

Tie dye hoodie diy

Hoodies can be dyed numerous ways, such as by using ice, a baking rack or a folded or knotted pattern. There are numerous ways to do this. A zipper hoodie or one that has a logo can likewise benefit from unique application techniques.

1. One Color

Using just one color is the easiest way to tie-dye a hoodie. Sweatshirt designs such as clouds, waves, stripes and bullseyes can be created using this technique on white garments. This approach may be a good starting point for you because it takes you through the essential phases of the dying process in the most straightforward manner imaginable.

  1. To begin, lay down plastic sheeting or tablecloths to cover the area you’ll be working in. Tables, chairs, and even the kitchen sink are all acceptable places to work.
  2. Before you begin washing your sweatshirt, it’s a good idea to run it through a cold water cycle. Cleansing the surface of the fabric should remove any dust or grime that could otherwise interfere with its vibrant pattern. However, there’s no need to dry the wet hoodie!
  3. To get the best results, prepare a dye-fixative bath first. You’ll need a sink with a drain plug or a bucket big enough to hold your sweater. Fill the bucket with water until it’s two-thirds full.
  4. Next, add 34 of a cup of soda ash to each gallon of water. Soda ash aids in the long-term stability of the fiber reactive dye on the fabric.
  5. Let the sweatshirt soak in the fixative solution for 10 minutes after that.
  6. To remove the sweatshirt, put on rubber gloves and wring out as much water as you can over the bucket.
  7. Place the dripping hoodie on the plastic sheets with caution.
  8. Next, flush the bucket or sink with hot water and refill it with 3 gallons. You don’t need boiling water to make the water feel good to the touch!
  9. Fiber-reactive dyes often call for 2 to 4 tablespoons of powder per three gallons of water, but you should follow the package’s guidelines. The powder and boiling water must be mixed together.
  10. Use rubber bands or twine to make your own unique pattern by scrunching, folding or twisting the sweatshirt. Learn how to create unique patterns in the next section of this article!
  11. Set your dye solution to the desired level of darkness, and then submerge the sweatshirt for anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
  12. Allow the hoodie to drip over the bucket for a few minutes before carefully removing it from the bath.
  13. The sweatshirt’s rubber bands or twine should not be untied or unwrapped. Allow it to sit in a plastic bag for at least an hour, if not all night, to allow the dye to penetrate.
  14. Removing the bindings and rinsing the sweatshirt until the color is no longer washed away is the next step after this resting period.
  15. Using a mild detergent and cold water, wash the sweatshirt by itself in your washing machine. It’s possible that you’ll have to run it through the washer a few more times until the colour disappears.
  16. Finally, it’s time to dry your new hoodie!

2. Crumpled Pattern

The crumpled or wrinkled design can be created with a single hue or a combination of colors. A baking rack (the kind you use to chill cookies on!) and a clean kitchen sink are the best tools for this job.

  1. Use a mild detergent and cold water to wash your hoodie. Fabric finishers and old fabric softeners can be removed whether you just bought the item or washed it previously. In addition, it should remove any dirt or dust that could ruin your design in the future.
  2. You simply crumple the hoodie one handful at a time to create your image! Grab a large portion of the fabric and wriggle it around in your hand. Repeat this process all over the hoodie, being sure to keep it scrunched up. It will take on a roundish form in the end.
  3. Use three or four large rubber bands to hold the crumples in place over the entire spherical form. If you wish to be more specific, imagine crisscrossing the bundle with rubber bands at 12 and 6 o’clock, 3 and 9 o’clock, and so on.
  4. Place the baking rack in the sink if you have one made of stainless steel. It’s also possible to utilize a giant tote or an enormous washtub. Because of the dye, you may not want to try this in a bathtub or porcelain sink.
  5. Put your sweater with the rubberbands on the rack. This will prevent the excess dye from building up beneath the shirt and causing it to flow from one region to the next.
  6. Make sure to follow the directions on the dye container to get the exact amount of powder and water. Alternatively, you can use disposable plastic cups or condiment squirt bottles to combine the powder and dye before shaking or stirring thoroughly.
  7. Now it’s time to have some fun! One color can cover the entire hoodie, or several colors can be applied to different parts of the sweatshirt. To achieve full color saturation, flip your rubberband bundle over and add dye to the backside.
  8. The sweatshirt should be placed in a plastic bag and left to rest for 8 to 24 hours before being washed or dry cleaned.
  9. Remove the hoodie from the plastic bag in your bathroom sink or tub and put it on your body. Do not remove any of the rubber bands before washing it. Until the color stops leaking out, keep going.
  10. Slide the rubber bands out of the way with care, and then appreciate your sweatshirt’s amazing pattern!
  11. Rinse the hoodie until you no longer see any color dripping off of it, and then hang it to dry.
  12. Use a mild detergent and cold water to wash the sweatshirt.
  13. It’s time to put your tie-dye hoodie through its paces.

3. With Ice

Because there are no particular twisting, crumpling, or folding requirements for this approach, it is one of the most straightforward ways to tie-dye a sweatshirt! Instead, you’ll use colored powder on top of ice cubes to achieve the same effect. Because the cubes melt at different rates, the finished garment has swirls and color variations that are all its own.

  1. Wash the white hoodie first, like you usually should. Using a moist garment is preferable to drying it in the dryer.
  2. A huge cooling rack should be placed in a bin next. Sinks and bathtubs may not be ideal for this task because you’ll need to keep the dye in situ for a long period.
  3. Scrunch up the damp hoodie so that it fits on the metal rack, then hang it up to dry.
  4. Scrunch up the sweatshirt and then cover it with ice cubes.
  5. The dye powder will be added next. It doesn’t matter what kind of dye you use, as long as it’s powder and not liquid. This can be sprinkled on the garment.
  6. The finished pattern will have more color diversity if you use more powder in certain spots than others.
  7. You can use numerous colors if you choose. You may do this by sprinkling the hoodie with a variety of colors.
  8. Wait at least 24 hours before using the ice dye. Despite the fact that the ice will melt quickly, you don’t want to mess with the color as it sets.
  9. Rinse the sweatshirt in cold water until you no longer notice any color seeping from the garment.
  10. Afterward, run it through a cold-water cycle in the washing machine and then into the dryer.

4. With Bleach

If you’re dying a hoodie black or dark in color, try using bleach on it before applying the tie-dye. Reverse tie-dying provides a ghostly, intriguing design. Once the bleach tie-dye process is complete, you can next apply other colors to the bleached areas in order to create an even more vibrant contrast.

Another thing to bear in mind while using this method is that you need to be careful when working with bleach. Get some fresh air by opening a window and putting on gloves and old clothing in case you get a little bleach on your hands or clothes.

  1. Use a mild detergent and cold water to clean your black or dark-colored hoodie.
  2. Using one of the ways described later in this article, dry the sweatshirt. As an alternative, you can also utilize the crumple method, which is by far the simplest. Rubber bands or twine can be used to secure whatever pattern you like.
  3. Bleach solution is next. Put the hoodie in a large basin and add equal amounts of bleach and water.
  4. Place the hoodie in this solution and let it soak for a few minutes. Allow for 5-10 minutes of soaking time.
  5. Rinse the bleach out of the rubber bands under cool running water as quickly as possible. You may also notice some of the dye wash away.
  6. Finally, to prevent any more color leakage, run a cold water cycle on the bleached sweatshirt in your washing machine. Then put it in the dryer to finish drying.

5. On Zip-Up Hoodie

You can tie-dye a zip up hoodie in the same way as a conventional hoodie if you fasten the zipper before you begin. The sweatshirt may still be folded, twisted, or crumpled into any shape you like!

Zippers can react badly to colors in some instances. In rare situations, zippers might shrink, darken, or even lose teeth. Additionally, zippers made of brass and copper might rust and discolor the hoodie.

The best way to avoid this is to immediately rinse the zipper when dyeing is complete. Also, if possible, use sweatshirts with plastic zippers rather than metal zippers.

Some colors will stain the vinyl if you dye a hoodie with a vinyl logo or graphic. With a white vinyl logo, for example, you can apply pink dye to make it a little more pink.

Keep in mind that color mixing may occur if you have a design on the shirt created from colored vinyl, such as yellow or blue vinyl.

To remove the dye off a hoodie, wet a rag in isopropyl rubbing alcohol and use it to scrape the vinyl logo.

There is no way around the fact that your embroidered logo will end up looking exactly like your sweatshirt!

In addition to the famous pleats, starbursts, strips and bullseye tie-dye patterns you can create on your sweatshirt! Folds, pleats, twists, and scrunches in the garment allow some portions of the cloth to absorb more colour than others. This is the underlying principle of any tie-dye pattern

1. Box Folds

Shibori dyeing, a Japanese method of tie-dyeing, has become one of the most popular tie-dye methods in recent years.

  1. Clean, damp sweatshirt: Lay it out on a table covered in a plastic sheet.
  2. Work your way from the left sleeve to the right sleeve by folding the sweatshirt into large 3″ accordion folds horizontally. Fold the hoodie in half, then fold it in half again until you have a 3″-wide rectangle.
  3. Fold the folded sweatshirt again, this time in thirds, by folding the vertical strip down.
  4. When you’re done, you should have a large square.
  5. Measure the hoodie square and cut out two cardboard squares that are the same size. Stack them on top of each other in the sweater square.
  6. Hold the cardboard and sweatshirt sandwich together using large rubber bands.
  7. The hoodie is now ready to be dyed!

2. Starbursts

One of the prettiest and most popular types of tie-dye designs you see a lot is a scattering of starbursts across the front of a hoodie. This simple method hardly takes any time to prep at all!

  1. Spread out your damp, clean hoodie on a flat surface.
  2. Decide where you want to place the scattering of starbursts. You can make a big burst or a bunch of small stars, depending on your personal style! You may find it helpful to temporarily insert safety pins to make the placement of each star before you go on to the next step.
  3. To form the first star, pinch a bit of hoodie fabric and twist it into a small cone shape. For the average-sized star, this will only take an inch or two of hoodie fabric.
  4. Secure the small cone by adding a rubber band at its base.
  5. For a whole starburst with multiple stars, repeat this process until you have pinched and secured as many stars as possible.
  6. Dye the hoodie using any of the methods described earlier in this article!

3. Stripes

Tie-dye stripes have a really easy folding pattern. You can use this horizontally, vertically, or even diagonally across the hoodie!

  1. Smooth out the damp sweatshirt on a flat surface. Starting at the left sleeve, make large pleats or accordion folds. Keep moving from left to right until the whole hoodie looks like a folded-up fan.
  2. Wrap rubber bands around the length of the folded hoodie, spacing them one to two inches apart (depending on how wide you want the stripes to look!).
  3. Using two or more colors of dye, alternate colors between the rubber bands to make vivid stripes!

4. Bullseye

A bullseye tie-dye pattern has a small center point and then rings expanding out from that point, just like the Target bullseye or an archery target!

  1. Start by choosing your center point. Bunch about three inches of sweatshirt fabric in your hand at this point, and twist a small rubber band around it to secure it.
  2. Hold this point up in the air with one hand, and use the other hand to form the rest of the hoodie into a cone shape.
  3. Wrap another rubber band about an inch down the cone from your first rubber band.
  4. Then move another inch down, adding rubber bands one inch at a time all the way down the cone-shaped hoodie.
  5. For a one-color bullseye, use the “one color” method described earlier in this article.
  6. If you want alternating color stripes in your bullseye, apply different colors between the rubber bands. To do this, arrange your rubber-banded hoodie on a baking rack and squirt dye onto the sweatshirt between the rubber bands.

How Much Dye Should You Use for a Hoodie?

The best way to determine how much dye you should use for a hoodie is to read the measuring instructions on the dye packet. Different brands will use different proportions. Also, powdered and liquid dyes will work a bit differently.

In general, a garment as large as a hoodie will require quite a bit of dye. You will likely need at least half of the powder in an RIT dye packet, for example!

Remember that better color saturation, caused by using more dye, will create bolder colors that last better through the rinsing stage.

Bold neon hues remain the most popular hoodie tie-dye colors, but lots of other options like single-colored or bleached shades work well!

A pastel color scheme can also create a whimsical, much more gentle type of tie-dye hoodie. Actually, you can often create pastel shades just by using less dye than you would for a bolder hue!

Reverse Tie Dye Sweatshirt

Making a reverse tie-dye sweatshirt involves bleaching a pattern onto a black or dark-colored sweatshirt and then applying dye on top of the bleached spaces. This method makes a gorgeous, stained-glass-like design!

You can use any folding or twisting pattern, but these instructions show you how to use reverse tie-dying with a simple crumple design.

  1. Wash your black or dark-colored hoodie in a cold water cycle with laundry detergent. Take it out of the washer and begin this project with it still damp.
  2. Put the damp sweatshirt on a flat surface and squeeze handfuls of the hoodie in your hands, working from top to bottom. You should have a roughly oval-shaped scrunched blob when you finish.
  3. Use big rubber bands stretched diagonally across the blob to hold all the scrunching in place.
  4. Mix up a bleach bath using equal amounts of bleach and water.
  5. Place the bundled hoodie into this, and let it sit for 10-20 minutes. As soon as you see color leaving the fabric, take the hoodie out of the bleach!
  6. Remove the rubber bands and rinse away the bleach using lots of cold running water.
  7. Before you try dyeing the hoodie, put it through the washing machine on a cold water cycle, just to make sure all the bleach comes out.
  8. To apply color to your reverse tie-dye sweatshirt, you can use the dye bath method described in the “one color” method earlier in this article or the “crumple method” technique that allows you to pour multiple colors onto the hoodie after arranging it on a baking rack.
  9. After applying the dye, wrap the sweatshirt inside a plastic trash bag and let it sit overnight.
  10. Finally, rinse the dye in cold water, and wash and dry the hoodie!


You can tie-dye a hoodie using a simple one-color dye bath, using a layer of ice cubes and dye powder, or even using bleach! Tie-dye works best on white cotton hoodies without zippers, but you can dye a zip hoodie so long as you find one with a plastic zipper. You can also use the bleach method on black or dark-colored hoodies.

To create interesting tie-dye designs, you can use unique twisting, folding, or scrunching techniques–these allow you to make designs like a bullseye or stripes. You can also make a simple crumple design or get an interesting cloudy design by using the ice method.

Have you ever tried to tie-dye a hoodie? What kind of design did you make? Leave a comment below to let us know!

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