Celebrate individuality, wild spirits, joie de vivre, and all the artistry of your creative heart with tie dye. Tie-dye patterns on clothing have been a fashion statement since ancient times, and its roots can be traced to India, Peru, and Japan, where it was common practice to swirl natural fibers in bright colors and dyes. The hippy movement of the swinging sixties saw a resurgence in vibrant colors adorning clothes as tie-dye made its comeback. Now, it's here to stay. Whether you choose to DIY it with a tie-dye kit and rubber bands or if you choose to buy tie-dye t-shirts, shirts, dresses, and other garments from like-minded retailers, finding the right shades from the color wheel is essential. We take a closer look at the best tie-dye clothing colors and help you choose your rainbow.
Understanding Tie Dye Color Combinations
Importance of Color Selection in Tie Dyeing
Choosing the right colors for tie-dyeing can make all the difference to the finished piece, and after all - the color selection is part of the artistry and a form of self-expression. Tie-dying doesn't always run smoothly if you are new to the home practice, as sometimes the wrong color combinations can bleed together and lead to brown spots on your garment instead of the colorful design you had been dreaming of. Knowing the basics of tie dye and how primary colors combine when mixed and understanding how these bold colors blend when placed next to each other can help you to achieve that fabulous finish.
Harmonious Color Combinations for Tie Dye Projects
Popular color combinations of tie dye tend to call on two primary colors (blue, red, yellow) as these can be placed together without too much trouble. If you put secondary colors together, then you run the risk of color mixing and brown colors forming on your tie-dye piece. You can place primary colors and certain secondary colors beside each other, and they can create stunning shades known as tertiary colors. For those who are new to tie dye, you may want to start with a white shirt and go easy on introducing too many vivid colors to start. Even just a single color and a spiral design can help you get to grips with the basics. When you are ready to blend - here are some basic complementary colors to help you get it right.
- red - yellow, yellow/green, blue/green
- orange/red, orange/yellow, blue
- green, brown, and orange for earth tones
Tips for Choosing Good Tie Dye Color Combinations
Choosing good tie-dye color combos can start with the color wheel. By finding an online color wheel, you are better equipped to visualize complementary colors and to see which shades will work against each other and which will be bad color combinations.
Stick to a few basic colors if you are a beginner when it comes to tie-dye. This can help prevent overwhelming designs and can keep a harmonious colorful look.
It can also be an idea to test tie-dye color ideas together on a piece of fabric before you turn your creative thoughts to your clothes. This helps test the waters and to see if your colors bleed and blend well together.
Tie-dye doesn't have to be OTT or all about bold patterns; you can also look to softer, calmer designs like choosing pastel shades or experimenting with more neutral colors or earth colors for a subtle look.
Some of Our Favorite Colors
Vibrant shades of purple with hints of indigo, earthy browns, and Fuchsia blooms blend together in this stunning tie-dye sleeveless wrap. This color combo has an earthy vibe but makes the most of those crown chakra shades for an elevated feel.
Speaking of earthy shades, this black and brown tie-dye skirt shows exactly what you can do with neutral shades and single-color designs. The softness and subtleness of this color scheme are elegant, easy on the eye, and utterly versatile, meaning that it can be paired with anything.
Celebrate the rainbow with this tie-dye knee-length skirt. The eye-catching combination of primary colors and rainbow shades is ever-striking, especially when patterned over with the clever use of black stripes. The range of colors means that this skirt can be paired with other garments that celebrate real rainbow color arrangements, or you can pair it with a black shirt or something neutral.
Pastel shades meet bright splashes in this bright and beautiful tie-dye halter top. Fun and flirty in all the right ways, the amazing colors chosen for this halter have feminine appeal and a one-of-a-kind tye dye technique. The cool tones blended with a pastel party finish make for a fabulous finished garment that pops.
Best Tie Dye Colors to Use
Popular and Classic Tie Dye Color Choices
While it can be tempting to throw as many colors as possible at your tie dye experiment, sometimes less can be more. Using two primary colors, such as blue and red, to create shades of purple or yellow and blue to play with greens can be enough. Just because you are only using two colors doesn't mean that you get a flat finish. The quantities of dye you use will create different shades, which can look great on a tie-dye shirt as the pattern also matters.
Exploring the Vibrancy of Primary and Secondary Colors
You can also use one primary and one secondary color of dye if they are from complementary color families. If you want to turn the dial up on vibrancy when it comes to your tie-dye designs, look for complementary colors that are opposite each other in the color wheel. This creates aesthetic contrast, which can work beautifully, but again, you have to be mindful of bad combinations that can lead to brown spots. You can avoid this by adding another primary color in between the other colors, and you can also use black and place that in-between the colors that may bleed together. This can make your colors pop even more.
Unique Color Choices for Creating Standout Tie Dye Designs
If you want to go all out on your colors of dye and opt for that traditional swirling rainbow tie-dye look, you can even choose three colors or more - however, you want to look to the real rainbow for inspiration and to create apt color saturation. As the colors will bleed into each other - careful color placement based on the rainbow will help you achieve a harmonious look.
Tie-dye is one of the best ways to welcome a range of colours into your wardrobe. DIY tie dye isn't difficult and can be an amazing way of expressing yourself artistically. The internet is full of step-by-step tutorials, and you can even welcome friends in for a tie-dye party. While homemade tie-dye helps you to garner control over your color project, you can also buy tie-dye clothes and cut out the mess and the fuss. Either way, celebrate color, expression, and individuality with the fun bohemian beauty and timeless appeal of tie-dye.
Is it better to tie-dye wet or dry?
To achieve the best tie-dye results, it's better for the fabric to be washed and then left damp. Damp shirts will have better color saturation than dry garments.
Why does vinegar set tie-dye?
It's a common misconception that vinegar sets tie-dye. In fact, you don't need vinegar at all when it comes to dying your cotton shirts or other garments. A better method for setting the dye is to use a soda ash solution.
How can I make my dye more effective?
Soaking your tie dye under cold running water after drying and using a fiber-reactive dye for cotton fabric are both ways in which you can make your tie dye look brighter and better. Soda ash is another tip for making the colors pop.
How do you make tie-dye look good?
To make your tie dye look good, you want to use the right kind of fiber-reactive dye and quality cotton. You can soak your garment in a soda ash solution to help the colors saturate. You also want to be patient and wait a good 24 hours after dying so those custom colors have a chance to set and shine.