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[EDIT: Here is a link to part 2.]

A little while ago, I saw this.  It’s an interesting experiment involving permanent markers and rubbing alcohol.  Basically, you color on some fabric using your permanent markers and then drop a few drops of rubbing alcohol on it.  The permanent ink the the markers is not soluble in water, but it is soluble in alcohol.  So as you drop the alcohol onto the ink and the alcohol spreads through the cloth, it takes some of the ink with it creating a melded, melty blob of color.  Yes, those are scientific terms.  Why do you ask?

I thought this would be fun to do with the jr. high/high school girls during one of our Friday night times BUT I also felt they probably would not be willing to include tie dyed shirts in their wardrobe.  I doubted that they had any white t-shirts just lying around and I didn’t want to buy a bunch for them.  It’s hard to get plain t-shirts of quality in quantity for reasonable prices.  However, I did have a large bolt of whitish, canvas-y cloth.  Thus, I decided we could tie dye blocks of cloth and then make something from those dyed pieces of cloth.

We basically followed the directions from the link.  We didn’t use Sharpies though, as I don’t have any.  I DO have a giant set of very colorful Bic permanent markers, which are a great deal cheaper than actual Sharpies and they’re basically the same thing.  Also, I ended up using 91% isopropyl alcohol, since that’s what I had (it’s what I use to clean my electronics).

Here’s what we ended up with, which isn’t really tie dying since we didn’t tie anything…but they ARE dyed.

You can see where we started getting creative and deciding we didn’t need to use the cups anymore.  I think the whole thing turned out rather nicely.

I set the colors using a quick soak in a vinegar/water solution.  It was probably 5-10 minutes in about a gallon of cold water and 2 tbsp of vinegar.  Then I threw it into the washer for a rinse and drain.  Finally, it was into a hot dryer until dry, about 15 minutes.  They came out rather wrinkly, so I will likely iron them with a hot iron later since I’ll need these things to be flat for the next part of the project.  I’m pretty sure the colors are set with my intricate post processing.

Next time, you see what these interesting dyed blocks of cloth become.

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