Tie Dye Colors
The best tie dye colors and combos work because they dye well and look good on. It's chemistry and art. Learn what works with testing. Start with one color.
Dye Color Testing
Think of tie dye like a kid's chemistry set. You learn what works after you run the experiment. Some tie dye color ideas don't work well. Even using quality dyes and cool tie dye colors you'll find
- Some colors dye well.
- Some colors dye funny.
- Some colors dye well, but dye funny with specific colors.
Dye Color History
Evolution of Dyes has a nice historical review, but modern tie dye has two basic periods based on readily available dyes.
The 1960's - All Purpose dyes were low cost and readily available in 3 primary colors. You had to mix colors if you wanted another color, add heat to set the dye, and the colors would eventually fade.
The 2010's - Fiber Reactive dyes are low cost and readily available in 200+ colors. You don't have to mix colors, or add heat to set the dye, and the colors never fade.
Dye Color Mixing
Dye colors don't mix like light, yet this simple fact isn't often mentioned.
- Dye colors subtract and mixing all colors ultimately makes brown.
- Light colors add and mixing all colors ultimately makes white.
Knowing this can help you choose tie dye colors that look good together.
Tie Dye Color Wheel
There are an infinite number of dye colors produced by combining three primary colors in various proportions.
Primary colors: Red, Yellow, Blue. These can't be derived from other colors. All other colors are derived from primary colors.
Secondary colors: Green, Orange, Purple. These are derived by mixing two primary colors in equal proportions.
Tertiary colors: Yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green, yellow-green. These are derived by mixing a primary and a secondary color in equal proportions.
Dye Happy Colors
6 Red Shades
4 Yellow Shades
6 Green Shades
6 Blue Shades
2 Black Shades