Finding good tie dye kits online is not even vaguely difficult.
What’s hard is choosing from the myriad of tie dye rainbows on the market which are the best, and more to the point, which are the best for the kind of project you want to take on.
Why schlepp through endless web pages, review after review looking for the tie dye sets that sound most ideal for you, when you could be off creating, and adding some fabulous color to your life?
We’ve waded the rainbow. We’ve dabbled in the fluorescent, and even dipped a finger in the more natural dyes to tie. That means we can take all the hassle out of your day.
We’ve corralled the five best tie dye kits on the market today – so you don’t have to.
In a hurry? Here’s our top pick.
OUR TOP PICK
Tulip has not so much conquered the market on tie dye kits in the US as covered it in bright color while it wasn’t looking.
It’s a company whose reputation among tie dyers is in the highest echelon, because it’s built a legend for colors that are bright, true, and non-fading once applied.
The Tulip One-Step 5 Color Tie-Dye Kit stands out for a handful of reasons.
Firstly – the whole ‘one-step’ thing. No presoaking of your clothing or textiles in soda ash has got to be a good thing, right? No time taken, no complex chemistry, no hassle. Presoaked wrinkled thumbs up from a nation of tie dye fiends right there.
Secondly, let’s talk user-friendliness. You get five 1.5-ounce squeeze bottles of concentrated, non-toxic dye, and five refill packets. Could that be any simpler, do you think?
If you’ve ever dreamed of taking ketchup and mustard squeeze bottles and drawing colorful pictures on the table, you can let your imagination out of its cellar of social convention and get squeezin’.
Thirdly, the One-Step 5 Color kits are not just one thing. Oh dear, no. That wouldn’t really be in the spirit of tie dyeing at all. You can get five variations of the 5 Colour kits: Carousel, Mermaid, Neon, Rainbow, Shibori, and Ultimate.
That’s a heck of a lot of color choice to swirl together. Each individual 5 Color kit contains enough dye to color up to 30 projects, depending on the size of the project. Get all five kits and there won’t be anything you own that isn’t a right of bright and groovy colors.
At least, nothing within the right spectrum of fabrics. All your natural materials – wools, cottons, even bamboo rayons – will take the Tulip dye, which is permanent and color-fast.
Never tried tie dyeing before? We mentioned the 5 Color kits were user-friendly, right? They come with rubber bands, gloves, and a crucial how-to guide, so you end up with all the color you want on the fabrics, and as little as possible on your hands, face, hair, walls, and dog.
A quick system that’s easy to use for everyone from beginners to the experienced tie dyer, the accessibility, variety, and value for money are what put the Tulip One-Step 5 Color kits at the top of our list.
- The one-step process removes a layer of complexity for everyone from beginners to experienced tie dyers
- Five different color ranges within the one-step kit range mean 25 colors to choose from, and a lot of mixing options to inspire your creativity
- An easy squeezy application process opens up tie dye to anyone who wants to try
- Permanent, color-fast dyes mean you get bright results that will survive wash after wash
- A useful how-to guide helps you get color only where you want it
- You have to pay individually for each 5 Color set, compared to sets which give you more color variation as standard
The spirit of tie dye has always been connected with the free love, psychedelic, and eco-friendly movements.
If you want to get your 21st century tie dye on and still give a nod to its eco-credentials, try the Tomser DIY Tie Dye Kit.
The kit includes 26 nontoxic, acid-free colors that are safe for both humans and the environment. guaranteed to be safe for the environment and humans.
One of the benefits that set the Tomser kit apart is that it’s an all-in-one proposition – 26 squeeze bottles of colored dyes, 10 gloves, two aprons, and 126 rubber bands all come provided.
Added to all that practical equipment, there’s a set of easy-to-follow instructions which help everybody, down as far as complete novices, to have the courage of their artistic convictions and get tie dyeing.
The feeling when you open up the Tomser kit is of being a kid in a colorful candy store – the world is your tie dyed oyster, from hoodies and hats to masks to canvas shoes. You name it, you grab it, you tie dye the living daylights out of it.
The only question then is, once you see the end results, whether you have the spring in your step to wear it with pride.
All of this with the added reassurance that the dyes are nontoxic and eco-safe.
As with the Tulip set, there’s no need to presoak your fabrics or textiles in soda ash, and no heating is required. Simply squeeze and band your way into a brighter, washing-safe, eco-friendly clothing future.
- Taking out the presoaking requirement means a much easier tie dyeing experience
- 26 colors in a single pack give you a wide range of mixes for your tie dyeing
- Lots of rubber bands and a how-to guide mean you can create complex tie dye patterns easily
- The dyes in this kit are guaranteed to be kind to the environment
- Some of the colors in the Tomser set are fairly generic compared to some smaller, more considered sets
America invented the phrase of the late 20th century: “Supersize me.”
It meant if a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing bigger, and bolder, and brighter, and larger than ever before.
That’s the ethos behind the Tulip X-Large Block Party Tie Dye kit. All the simplicity of smaller Tulip sets, all the confident, vibrant tie dye color – but on a much bigger scale. As the name suggests, this is tie dyeing that can kit out a whole block party in vibrant color.
You’re looking at a kit that includes enough dye to create anything up to 72 tie dye projects.
That said, it’s worth drawing a line of distinction between “a lot of dye” and “a lot of colors.” Whereas the likes of the Tomser set give you several rainbows-worth of colors to choose from, the Tulip Block Party kit gives you extra-large, 16-ounce bottles – of just six colors.
That’s important to remember if you have your heart set on the wildest designs, but if making sure everybody in the neighborhood has the tie dye party they want, then quantity can legitimately take a front seat over variety, and the Block Party kit is the one you need.
As with all the Tulip dyes – and indeed, all the dyes on our list – the Block Party kit contains entirely nontoxic and color-safe do you’re not going to face wobble-lipped kids or eyebrow-knitted adults after just a couple of washes. Once you go tie dye with Tulip, you go tie dye forever.
The how-to guide included with this kit gives you 8 classic tie dye patterns and designs to create, so even used in strict rotation, most people in groups of friends can have their own design – especially if you let them pick which one they want.
Would more colors be an extra bonus and make this a more must-buy set?
Absolutely. But when you have a lot of tie dyeing to do – whether in a classroom, a summer camp, or an actual block party – the Tulip Block Party kit is still probably your best option.
- Mass tie dyeing is possible with 16-ounce dye bottles
- Make up to 72 tie dye projects from a single kit
- Nontoxic, color-fast dyes won’t fade in the wash
- How-to guide includes 8 tie dye patterns
- Limited to 6 colors in this kit
It’s out with the squeeze and in with the spray if you go for the Tumble Dye Classic Tie Dye Kit from SEI.
The color-fast dyes are water-based, which means you skip the presoaking procedure, but here you don’t even have to wash the garment or fabric once the process is complete.
Simply throw them into your dryer for 20 minutes or so, and you’re good to go, for probably the fastest tie dye solution on our list.
You’re likely to get a different take on tie dye here in terms of the patterns you can produce too, since the spray-on application will give you a bigger droplet effect than other, more squeeze-on techniques.
You get eight colors in the SEI kit, including pink, red, orange, yellow, green, light blue, dark blue, and purple. That’s more than enough to give you some classic psychedelia-era tie dye vibes.
How many projects can you complete with this kit? That depends on the size of the projects, but if we assume they’re all T-shirts, you’re looking at up to 32 shirts from a single kit.
Unlike some other dyes on our list, you don’t need to add water to activate the dyes in the SEI kit – they come pre-mixed, which is another way the kit speeds up your tie dyeing process.
But beware if you’ve been lulled into thinking that most standard tie dye kits come with gloves, rubber bands, and even aprons. This kit includes none of that, probably reasoning that you have gloves and rubber bands already around the house.
So – more dyes, more speed, less technical tie dyeing kit. It’s by no means a deal-breaker, but it’s worth remembering before you buy.
- 8 colors give you a real sense of classic tie dye patterns
- A quick and easy spray-on method makes the dyeing process even easier than squeeze bottles
- Up to 32 T-shirts can be dyed with a single kit
- Easy drying process means you’re good to go in a hurry with this kit
- Light on accessories that help you with your tie dyeing, so you have to buy your own gloves and rubber bands to make this kit work
The Vanstek Tie Dye DIY kit, apart from being a great tongue-twister, is a one-stop shop when it comes to tie dyeing.
Obviously, the dyes are nontoxic and acid-free. But here, you also get a lot of color for your money – 20 colors, no less, along with ten pairs of gloves, 120 rubber bands, two table covers and a simple four-step guide for absolute tie dye beginners.
With 20 colors to choose from, you can tie dye yourself till you look like a supernova of bright, color-fast self-expression.
And the Vanstek kit also gives you step-by-step techniques on ten different kinds of tie dye, so you can experiment with your technique to get different kinds of visuals for different projects.
While the dyes are reasonably color-fast at lower temperatures, Vanstek is honest enough to advise not letting them sit in hot water for too long in case the colors start to run.
- 20 colors gives you many more tie dyeing options than many of the best sets
- This is a full-service set, with all the accessories you need to get tie dyeing
- The dyes are nontoxic, and so are safe for children to use
- The set comes with a step-by-step guide to 10 different tie dye methods and patterns
- Dies may possibly run during high-temperature washes
Best Tie Dye Kit Buying Guide
When choosing the best tie dye kit for your projects, keep a few things in mind before you tie dye buy.
Design versus explosion
When dealing with tie dye, there’s an equation to use. How much do you want your tie dye to look deliberate and designed? And how much is all about the eye-melting color schemes?
That might now sound like a great dilemma as your finger hovers over the ‘buy’ button, but think it through.
If you’re all about the festival of explosive brightness, you could be better served by buying a smaller kit with more exotic colors in it – say one of the Tulip 5 Color sets, or even two – or even the Tomser set with more colors, than you would be by, say, the Tulip Block Party kit, with its limited palette.
If you’re more about delivering specific, thought-out designs, we’d advise going more for squeeze bottle kits, rather than, say, the spray bottle methods of the SEI kit.
Knowing in advance the kind of project and the finished look you’re aiming for will help guide you to the best tie dye kit for you.
Lots of color versus lots of dye
Work out in advance whether you need allll the colors of a handful of rainbows, for a limited number of projects, or whether you need a limited number of colors, but lots and lots of dye to get your tie dyes completed quickly.
In essence, consider the projects you’re going to be using the tie dyes for before you order. That way, you won’t waste money on dyes you don’t need and can hone your purchase down to the dye kit that will serve you best.
Colorful kids or expert hands?
As with some of the other questions to consider, the ultimate users of the kit are worth taking into consideration. Are you buying for kids, to let them express their tie dye creativity? If so, buy a kit with every conceivable covering – gloves, aprons, table cloths, you name it.
Or are you buying for experienced grown-ups with a love for the tie dye vibe? In which case, you can get away with – and save money on – kits that are less prepared for a dye-apocalypse, and more geared towards creating specific, intentional designs.
Again, the key to honing your choice to the perfect kit for you is knowing what you’re buying it for – and making sure you get the set that best meets your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why do modern tie dye kits cut the presoaking requirement?
Because it’s no longer a requirement. With newer dyes, they can work and give you color-fast images without the hassle of a presoak.
So, lots of manufacturers have jumped on the no-presoak bandwagon to cut out that hassle.
2. Are there any limits to the designs I can make with tie dyeing?
Only really the limits of your imagination and your rubber bands. Given enough dye, you can get some pretty wild designs.
Like any artistic process though, there comes a point of diminishing returns if you add too much to a single design.
3. Are there any colors that can’t be used in tie dye?
No. Tie dyeing is a process, not a color chart.
If you want to use modern, vibrant colors in your tie dying, you go right ahead.