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Swirl Tie Dye Technique


Updated April 18, 2016
(48 Votes)


Creating a twisting spiral of bright colors with tie-dye is easier than you might think! Follow this photo tutorial from I Love to Create or watch the video below to create your own swirl tie-dye for wearable items or home decor pieces.

Before you begin a tie-dye project, read the instructions for the Tulip One-Step Fashion Dye or Tulip Permanent Fabric Dye.  Refer back to them for standard steps with using dye.

Swirl Tie Dye Technique
Table of Contents


If you've ever wanted to learn how to tie-dye, this is the perfect project to try. Simply pinch and turn to create the folds and then cover strategically with rubber band. Add dye to your piece - you can pick as many colors as you want. Cool tie dye designs come in all shapes and sizes, so don't be afraid to get creative. Follow these tie dye instructions and you'll be well on your way to designing a one-of-a-kind wearable that's eye-catching and daring. You'll never want to buy new clothes when you learn how to tie-dye clothes you already have.

How To Tie Dye a Shirt

Pinch and Twist

Swirl 1

  1. Before beginning, read the Tie-Dye how-to instructions and refer back to them for standard steps.
  2. Prewash fabric to remove sizing. Do not use fabric softener or dryer sheets.
  3. Cover work surface with a plastic tablecloth.
  4. Lay fabric flat on work surface. Decide the area on the fabric where you want the swirl to be. Pinch fabric at this point. Twist fabric around into a flat spiral.


Swirl 2

  1. Bind with rubber bands, creating 6 wedge shapes. Use more rubber bands as desired.

Apply Dye

Swirl 3

  1. Apply Dye on wedges using as many colors as desired, in the desired arrangement – alternating wedges, connecting wedges, etc. or use a single color.
  2. Cover fabric with plastic. Let set 4 to 6 hours. Remove rubber bands. Fill washer to large load setting with hottest water suitable for fabric and a small amount of non-bleach laundry detergent. Wash and dry separately.

More Tie Dye Ideas and Cool Tie Dye Designs

28 Tie Dye Craft Projects and How to Tie Dye

Looking for easy tie dye crafts that you can work on with the kids? With these craft tutorials, you'll discover how easy it is to find things to tie dye. There are so many cool techniques to try and ways to personalize otherwise boring items like white shirts and socks. You can even create tie dye decor items - it's such a fun way to add color to your space. Discover how to make tie dye crafts that look groovy and cool. It's so easy to take a trip back in time - you only need some cool tie dye designs to get you started.


94 Tie Dye Techniques and Patterns Tie Dye Techniques

Get ready for summer with this epic collection of 100+ Tie Dye Techniques and Patterns. You'll find tons of awesome tie dye patterns to get your started and fun craft projects to keep you busy. If you're afraid to try new tie dye techniques, never fear. The projects in this collection of tie dye crafts are quick, easy and perfect for all ages.


How to Make Tie Dye Designs

Heart Tie Dye Technique

There are so many fun and easy ways to tie dye shirts. Discover cool tie dye designs and get inspired. Soon, you won't have any white clothes in sight because everything will be tie dyed. Whether you try the splatter technique or create a heart using a variety of dyes, you can't go wrong. These techniques can also be used to change the look of boring white home decor items. Now is the perfect time to turn your space into a groovy oasis.


  Tie Dye Craft Projects

Learn how to tie-dye with these unique 47 Tie Dye Craft Projects for fashion, gifts, home decor, and more. You'll find so many great tie dye techniques and patterns, you may not know what to work on first. Simply follow along with the tie dye instructions and you'll be well on your way to creating one-of-a-kind crafts.


Printable Tie Dye Collections

Perfect for parents, counselors, and crafters on the go, these printable tie dye collections can also be downloaded directly to your computer or mobile device for free!  Find our very best tie dye tutorials in these free eBooks!



Bonus: How to Tie Dye Ribbon Using Glimmer Mist

You don't have to use standard tie dye to create delightful tie dye craft projects. Learn how to tie dye using Glimmer Mist - it's so much easier than you might think. Follow along with this video tutorial and discover a fun and new way to create tie dye designs.


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I have been learning about Tie-Dye, collecting designs, setting aside items, and buying dyes one at a time. Wow I could start the day the dyes would arrive with this super creative set! #FaveCraftsTieDye #FaveCrafts

Wow! This looks like so much fun! I hope I get a chance to try #FaveCraftsTieDye

want more info on salt resist technique FaveCraftsTieDye

Really like this method. FaveCraftsTieDye

M'y daughter tried it at school in an art class. great projection FsveCraftsTieDie

I think the swirl design is my fav so far. Thanks for the tut FaveCraftsTieDye

The swirl design is one of the coolest .I love the purple top(FaveCraftsTieDye)

I love this swirl design when tie dying. Never the same design twice. FaveCraftsTieDye. )

FaveCraftsTieDye - truly classic!

FaveCraftsTieDye Another best idea ever. There needs to be a finished open shirt picture to show off the design and the colors. Please post a picture.


I would like to try this swirl technique using school colors or sport team colors. FaveCraftsTieDye

Tie dye is the perfect craft! Always unique. Always a fun surprise! FaveCraftsTieDye

this looks like SO much fun! FaveCraftsTieDye

Fun "twist" on tie dying! FaveCraftsTieDye

This is a great technique! My granddaughters would love to do this with their friendsFaveCraftsTieDye

FaveCraftsTieDye love this idea for my daughter's birthday party thanks for sharing

I think is it great the tie dye is larger than ever! Thanks FaveCraftsTieDye!

FaveCraftsTieDye. Now this is something I will try with my grandkids since they love to do this with me. They'll get real create and we'll make some new shirts or even cover up some stained ones for longer life!

Love this technique FaveCraftsTieDye.

Love this technique

Can a person have too much tie dye? No way! FaveCraftsTieDye.

This is my all-time favorite tie dye look, but I've never actually tried it myself. No time like the present. FaveCraftsTieDye.

I am dying to try this technique! FaveCraftsTieDye

I've always wanted to try this. I have spiral tie-dye shirts from my fav radio station. FaveCraftsTieDye

I love this! My mother-in-law does this style of tie-dye all the time and it turns out so pretty. FaveCraftsTieDye

What fun! Gives me all kinds of ideas. FaveCraftsTieDye

Super - I love that pink shirt although I'd have to do it in aqua or teal. FaveCraftsTieDye

Another great tie-dye tip...if you want to create words or different designs use regular white glue and write or create your design-then let it dry, now go and dye the item per instructions and when you do the last laundering you'll have your image and glue will be gone! FaveCraftsTieDye

I'm glad that I found these pages! So many lovely ideas! I now need to get a kit use the ideas I've found here.

This kit is very user friendly. I want to tie dye some socks and scarves, not just to wear, but to repurpose on wreaths and other crafting projects. I have fond memories of tie dye at summer camps when I was a tween. Now I would like to invite some of my middle aged friends over for a tie-dye and drinking tea party. )

I would love to win this kit to share with my friends at our knitting retreat. FaveCraftsTieDye

There are quite a few things that I really like about this tutorial. A few of the major "likes" are the instructions (it makes tie dying seem so easy) the step by step photos and the logical way the instructions are presented. Kudos to the author! FaveCraftsTieDye

FaveCraftsTieDye. I've seen that swirl technique on TV before, but haven't tried it yet.

When tie-dying with kids, I find they have problems "twirling" to create the spiral pattern, to solve this we use a fork. Simply stick the fork in the center of the area the spiral is desired and then twist. Remove the fork, and apply the rubber bands as directed. The tines on the fork allow just enough resistance to make it easy to twirl the fabric for kids.

I've never done tie dye crafts, but my little cousin would love these! There are so many different options here too which is great.

These look awesome!

I love tie dye. Keep them coming!

Nice to see a basic tie-dye tutorial around. I did this a couple times when I was a kid, but it was always kind of a splattery rainbow mess

Would it be ready to wear if it dried over night? orrr..

Would love to see pics of the finished product.


and if i want to use hot dies ! so how can i do ths techniqe

cool will have to try this x

this is really cool... :)

i want to see the results of the shirts you made on videos....i love to tie dye.

do you have to get the shirt wet first?

yes it helps a lot



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