How to tie-dye shoes
Want to learn how to tie-dye your own shoes? Here's how you do it and this process works best with shoes made from canvas material.
First, place a plastic cover over your work surface. Then place some newspapers over it to protect your work surface from dye stains. This will make it easier to clean up afterwards as your work surface will remain clean and stainless! Use a clear sellotape to keep it in place to avoid the plastic cover and newspaper from moving whilst working.
Dip a brush in water and brush gently over the outer section of the shoe and leave for a few minutes. I left mine for 15minutes to allow the canvas material of the shoe to absorb the water, as this will help with the dyeing process. The shoe below has already undergone this process.
Follow the dye instructions on your dye pack which will tell you how to mix your dye. In this case, I used a fibre reactive dye known as procion MX dye. I dissolved half a teaspoon of procion MX dye in a little hot water to create a dye paste and added 25ml chemical water to it and mixed thoroughly. To find out how to make your own chemical water, see the chemical water recipe at the end of this tutorial. Leave the dye mix for now. However, if you want more than one colour, you can repeat this step to create as many colours as you like before proceeding to the next stage. See image below:
Dissolve 20g of soda ash into 1litre hot water and mix together till the soda ash is fully dissolved. Take 25ml from the soda ash solution and add this to the dye mix. Once the soda ash solution has been added, the dye will only last for an hour and will no longer be active after this time. Soda ash is the fixing agent that fixes the dye to the shoe fabric and it stops the dye from washing out. Dip a small sized flat brush in the dye mix and start painting the outer section of your shoes until you've covered all the parts of the shoe you want to dye. See image below:
Wrap the shoes in a plastic bag or in cling film and leave for 6-8hrs.
Unwrap the shoes, rinse first in cold water till the water runs clear, then rinse in warm water 3-4 times and finally wash it twice in the washing machine with metapex or synthrapol textile detergent and allow to air dry. Once your shoes are dry, they are ready to wear. See below for the finished product!
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