Need some help in dyeing a shirt

Hi all!

Before getting into anything, apologies if this is in the wrong place - please call me out if it is!

I’ve recently been looking into creating an outfit in a specific aesthetic, and one of the things I want to do is to dye a shirt like the one below:

But not only am I very inexperienced with this sort of thing, but everything I search leads to the wrong results; the closest I have to matching that shirt is “freestyle” tie dyeing, but even that doesn’t look right.
Could anyone give some pointers in how to make this sort of thing? I’m feeling quite on my own in this and any help would be greatly appreciated!!

Thank you :slight_smile:


First of all, welcome! This is the best crafty place going, glad you found it :blush:

Second, this looks like a dry application with crumpling to spread the dye, then white paint splattered over.

It could be ink rather than dye. I would test a few colouring mediums with various mordants to set the colour, then wash to test for fade/spread.

If you share your experiences here you’ll be sure to get lots of feedback. Many folks here tie-dye cloth, dye roving & yarn, etc. I expect a few will chime in here now with dye & mordant advice.

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You could also get the white splotches by using a resist, something that repels the color. Wax is a classic resist for dye. There are other types, too.

I use washable school glue as a resist when I paint-dye, because paint does not require a long wet soak.

Dharma Trading Company has many kinds of dyes and supplies, plus tips and techniques.

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Oh ya! That clear gel glue by Elmer’s washes right out & makes a great resist.


Oooh, I love the artsy style of that shirt! I can’t be much help with dyeing techniques, but welcome to the site. Hope you stick around a show us how it turns out.
[Toddling off to see if I have a shirt I can dye…]


Thank you for the warm welcome! It’s good to know I’ve come to the right place haha

Is a dry application the application of fabric dye without wetting the clothing item first, like you would with tie dyeing? Also, the paint splattered over it is a golden colour :slight_smile:
If it’s ink, would the application change? And by “colouring mediums”, do you mean different fabrics, or different dyes? Final question, what are a few examples of mordants? Looking at the definition of the word I’m pretty sure I saw the name of one yesterday, but I can’t remember it.

Apologies for all the questions! I’m really not knowledgeable with these sorts of things. Truthfully the image is a member of a band that recently released a new album, and after hearing it I was inspired to create a similar outfit! Thanks so much for the input though!!

So would I apply splatters of a resist over the shirt before dyeing it? Is that what I’d do?
Full disclaimer, I probably won’t end up doing this since I’ve already brought golden acrylic paint (the colour isn’t actually white!), but any input is appreciated so thank you!!

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It looks so gorgeous! The person is from a band and each member has a couple of outfits like it, so I’ve got much to draw inspiration from lol.
Thank you for the welcome - I’ll definitely show the final product!

Yeah, let the resist set, cure, dry, whatever before adding the dye.

I don’t have much experience dyeing fabric, but I’ve been using Derwent Inktense blocks as watercolors. They can be used to dye silk (protein-based fiber), and can be applied dry. Might give you more control over color distribution.