Given a bit of spare time and some art supplies, there is no telling what my daughter might decide to make. Naturally, summer provides a wealth of creative opportunities as long as I can keep the supplies of paper, glue, and whatnot coming. While visiting a craft store in the USA, Reina found a tie-dye kit and we agreed to try it once we got back to Beijing. I figured it was time since she was already taking wet wipes and showing her friends how to dye them using markers.
Some friends have expressed concern over buying similar kits in China, the worry being that the dyes might be toxic. If in doubt, it should be easy to purchase one from overseas as long as you buy the dye in powdered form. Once it arrives, you simply add water to the dye bottles, shake well, and you are ready to start making a mess. A little powdered dye goes a long way; our kit weighed less than half a kilo.
Best advice, cover a large workspace with plastic and prepare for some dye to get on hands and clothes if you are not careful. Gloves are a must and eye protection is recommended, though we forgot to make Reina wear hers. Otherwise, follow the directions. You can search online for tutorials with tips about designs and step-by-step instructions. The brand of dye kit we bought is Jacquard and included yellow, red, and blue dye along with soda ash dye fixer and a pack of rubber bands. Depending on your pace, set-up, dye time, and clean up takes about 20-40 minutes and then you wait overnight before rinsing out the excess dye to reveal the results.
Photos: Christopher Lay