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How To Tie Dye!

One of our absolute favourite and most popular summer camp activities is Tie Dye. We do it every year, and have incredible results. We’ve made the process as simple as possible, and we’d love to share the secrets of our success with you to Tie Dye at school, at camp, at home, or wherever you like.

The biggest secret to tie-dyeing is having the right supplies, and getting high quality products. Here in British Columbia, we buy our materials at Maiwa on Granville Island, but you can order from their Supply Store online.

What You Need:

  1. Soda Ash

  2. 100% Cotton Pre-washed clothing or fabric

  3. Procion MX Dyes

  4. Urea

  5. Table Salt

  6. Elastic Bands - a variety of sizes is helpful

  7. Plastic Bags

  8. Disposable Gloves (latex/vinyl etc)


  1. Containers or tubs to mix your dyes

  2. Squeeze bottles - at least one for every colour of dye - more if you’re working with a large group

  3. Large tubs for soaking clothing or fabric

  4. Washing machine and dryer

Mixing the Dyes:

At The YES Camp we mix 6 colours of dye to use with approximately 50-70 people each week for 6 weeks over the course of the summer.

We like to mix the following colours: Turquoise, Golden Yellow, Green, Fuchsia, Orange and Purple.

We can mix these six colours using four Procion MX Powders: Turquoise, Golden Yellow, Yellow, Fuchsia - Each of these cost just $8 or $9 in their smallest quantities. Maiwa provides a great guide for dye mixing which you can find here.

Here’s what we would suggest depending on the size of your group – remember, the more colours you mix the more clothing you can dye. We are a little less precise and fussy than Maiwa’s guide, but we’ve found that our method works great and we can keep the dyes in sealed containers for a couple of weeks with good results.


A Few Items of Clothing

A Small Party of People

What We Mix for 100+ Shirts


1-2 heaping teaspoons turquoise

3-4 heaping teaspoons turquoise

6-7 heaping teaspoons turquoise

Gold Yellow

1-2 heaping teaspoons gold yellow

3-4 heaping teaspoons gold yellow

6-7 heaping teaspoons gold yellow


1-2 heaping teaspoons fuchsia

3-4 heaping teaspoons fuchsia

6-7 heaping teaspoons fuchsia


1 teaspoon turquoise, 1 heaping teaspoon yellow

1 heaping teaspoon turquoise, 2 teaspoons yellow