Monday, July 21, 2008

Tie-Dye High

Man, kids are amazing.

This morning was my second of five Kid’s Summer Craft Workshops: Tie-Dye T-shirts. I had little to no experience with tie-dye, so feared the worst, especially with the eighteen kids that were confirmed to participate. What was I thinking?

The activity went off without a hitch. Everybody arrived on time, so I only needed to explain everything once. The kids—boys and girls ranging in age from 2 to 11—all listened wonderfully. I explained the various ways of tying the elastics to achieve different results: circles, bulls eyes, lines... I showed them examples that Quinn had done at Beavers. And I told them there was going to be some waiting involved while the shirts soaked in the pre-wash, then again while the dyes cured.

I have never seen a better behaved bunch of kids.

Not 100% certain I had mixed the dyes properly, and kinda fudging the entire process (there are way too many variations on tie-dying), I was worried all the colour would wash away with the rinse, and I would quickly become the neighbourhood idiot.

I took every precaution against this: I had the kids bring 100% cotton, pre-washed, white t-shirts. They tied them while dry, then they soaked for 15 minutes in Soda Ash, which I believe is the key to colour-fastness. The kids then used squeeze bottles to apply the dyes to the shirts—using their wonderful and extraordinary imaginations to come up with glorious colours, patterns and designs. One of the older boys even incorporated a happy face, using marbles to dot out the eyes, nose and smile. So clever.

In an exercise where skin and clothes, never mind household furnishings, could have been ruined, I believe not one kid left with a stain of any sort. We all used gloves and wore grubby clothes, but more importantly, the process was explained, the kids listened, and care was taken.

I am so thrilled, and absolutely, positively, wonderstruck at these incredible kids. Brilliant. What a fantastic morning.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the reference! BTW...I'm still hoping my cam will show up one of these days.