How do you tie-dye a black shirt? With bleach and some household materials, the process is pretty simple. Reverse tie-dye is the act of removing color from a shirt (or any garment) and dyeing a new color back into the fabric.
Here’s how to reverse tie-dye a black set at home using bleach. You’re going to need:
You can use your black clothing items of choice. A black hoodie or sweatshirt and sweatpants would make a cute matching set, too. I opted for a t-shirt and shorts set because I wanted a set I could wear comfortably during summer. I also sized up for the shirt for a looser fit that I could tie into a crop top.
You can experiment with other dark-colored garments, as well. Black works the best for this process because you’ll get the most contrast.
Make sure the fabrics you’re using are 100% cotton for the best results. Avoid synthetic materials, like polyester, because bleach won’t affect them. On the other hand, more delicate fabrics, like silk, can be destroyed by bleach.
Now that you have your materials, let’s start the fun!
Reverse Tie-Dye Process
- Go outside or in a well-ventilated area. Lay down old towels or a drop cloth to create a workspace where the bleach won’t damage the material underneath. If you’re working indoors and using a towel, make sure the towel doesn’t absorb too much bleach because it can seep through and ruin the surface underneath.
- Twist the garments and secure them with rubber bands placed several inches apart. The parts with the rubber band will stay black while the exposed areas will turn white or orange in the bleaching process.
- Fill a spray bottle with a mixture of half bleach and half water. Spray your garments with bleach to your liking. The more bleach you spray, the lighter your clothes will become. Let the bleach sit on the fabric for 8-10 minutes.
- Remove the rubber bands. Wash the garments in the washing machine using mild detergent. You can add half a cup of baking soda to neutralize bleach when washing multiple items. Hang your clothes to let them air dry.
If you want to add color back into the bleached parts of your clothes, simply add fabric dye and follow the instructions on the label.
For my visual learners, watch my video below to see how to easily reverse tie-dye black clothes and use the crumple folding technique.
Will you try reverse tie-dye? This was a fun at-home activity for me and now I have a cute matching set that looks way more expensive than it actually was to make. This set is so comfy and I wear it all the time as loungewear. If you have any additional tie-dye tips, leave them in the comments below.