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How to Make Multicolored Tie Dye Socks With This Quick Guide

How to Make Multicolored Tie Dye Socks
Tie-dyed clothing is quite a trend these days, and so are tie-dyed socks. Although you can easily buy a pair, it's more fun to make one at home yourself. Learn how to tie dye socks with this quick and easy guide.
Vibhav Gaonkar
Last Updated: Dec 28, 2018
Quick Tip
Use combinations of either primary colors (red, yellow, blue) or secondary colors (orange, green, purple) when dyeing socks. In areas where these two colors blend, a third color would be created.
Tie dyeing is very easy, plus a lot of fun. It's always better to do it at home, as you can add a lot of variations of your own to create something new and unique. We'll guide you through the process of tie-dyeing a pair of socks, with two different methods; with fabric dye and with permanent markers.
The method is called 'tie dyeing' because the fabric to be dyed is folded, tied, or crumpled, to create unique color patterns. Folding and crumpling in a specific style is possible in cases of bigger garments like T-shirts. Socks necessarily need to be tied due to their comparatively small size.
Here are two methods to tie dye a pair of white socks; one with fabric dye (two colors) and the other with permanent markers. Refer to the instructions and illustrations of each method, as you do it yourself.
Method 1: Using Fabric Dye
What You Will Need
● Fabric dye (powder or liquid)
● Rubber bands
● Sodium carbonate
● Zip-locking plastic bags
● Old ketchup bottles (squeeze bottles)
● Water
● Salt
● Apron
● Old newspapers
● Latex gloves
Although the process of dyeing takes somewhere around 30 minutes, it takes almost a day's time for the color to set.
Equipment method
  • Put together all the above listed material.
  • Take proper precaution to avoid dye stains all over you and your house. You could do the process in your porch or backyard.
  • The chemicals in dyes and the caustic soda could cause skin irritation. Wearing gloves would prevent this problem.
Prepare dye
  • Prepare the dye according to the instructions on the package.
  • Most dyes require to be mixed with hot water in a 2:50 ratio, wherein you put 10 ml or 2 tsp. of dye, and add 250 ml or 1 cup of hot water. Add a tbsp. of salt, as it would reduce the tendency of the fabric to repel the dye.
  • Pour the dyes in the squeeze bottles. Squeeze bottles are necessary, as we have to squirt the dye, and not spray it.
Wash socks
  • Wash the socks before beginning to dye them. Ensure that the socks are made of cotton, as cotton is the only fabric to hold dyes more effectively.
  • Now combine 6 oz of Sodium Carbonate with 4 liters of warm water. Sodium Carbonate helps better bonding of the dye with the fabric.
Sodium carbonate
  • Soak the pair of socks in this solution for about 10 - 15 minutes.
Tie and dye
  • Now, make sections of each sock and tie them with rubber bands.
  • Apply dyes to the sections using the squeeze bottles. Avoid leaving too many white patches while dyeing.
Allow to set
  • Place the dyed socks in the zip-locking bags and seal them. Leave the socks untouched for 24 hours. 
  • The socks require room temperature to dry appropriately, so remember to keep the bags in a warm place.
  • Alternately, you could also allow the socks to dry directly under the sun on a warm day.
  • Once dry, take the socks out of the bag, and untie the rubber bands.
  • Rinse under warm water, until the water runs clear. You could also use a washing machine, and put the socks on a warm rinse cycle.
Rinse and wash
  • After rinsing, put the socks in the washing machine and perform a regular wash using detergent and hot water.
Method 2: Using Permanent Markers
What You Will Need
  • Permanent markers
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Eyedropper or sprayer
  • Newspapers
This method is quicker as compared to traditional tie dyeing, and would take no more than 30 minutes.
Equipment method two
  • Insert rolls of newspaper in the socks. This would prevent the marker from bleeding through.
Insert paper in socks
  • Using markers, draw any pattern of your choice on the socks; dots, patches, circles, etc.
Draw pattern with marker
  • Once you complete drawing, use the eyedropper or sprayer to apply alcohol to the colored areas. The amount of alcohol could vary as per the level of ink-bleeding you expect. Ideally, bleed in order to blend the colors into each other.
Apply rubbing alcohol
  • The alcohol would take a few minutes to dry. Once dry, put the socks into the dryer on high setting for 15 minutes. Voila! Your tie-dyed socks are all ready.
Tie dyeing is real fun. The marker method is actually a very creative activity for your kids to try out. Tell them to draw their favorite cartoon or superhero, or simply write their name, and they would be very excited to wear their new pair of tie-dyed socks made by them.