seems that every time we run a white or creme shirt, the forums fill up
with exclamations of woe from slippery-fingered would-be buyers who
seem incapable of keeping their spaghetti on their forks and off of
their clothing. We all know we can take the shirt for a boil in some
good old Rit dye, but that takes planning and is sooo predictable.
Since our shirts are 100% cotton, they take natural dyes pretty well,
so just about anything that stains your hands in the kitchen can be
used to tint your t’s.
Coffee or Tea: Brew
up enough liquid to cover your shirt fabric, pour it into a large pot
or bucket, add your shirt, and wait it out. Most coffee/tea dye
treatments need at least a few hours to sink in, and will produce even
stronger results if left overnight. The longer your fabric sits, the
darker brown your shirt becomes. Use this to achieve shades of light
tan to light brown.
Kool-Aid: Comes in a
bajillion colors that can be tweaked from pale pastels to shockingly
bright just by adding more of the drink powder. For really bright
colors, try using a packet of powder per ounce of shirt fabric (that’s
about 6 and a half packets for a men’s medium). Grab a big pot, add
your Kool-Aid, your shirt, and enough hot water to cover the fabric.
Your water should be hot, but not quite boiling. Cover it up, and let
sit for at least half an hour.
might not want to eat ‘em, but they sure can dye stuff! If you’ve got a
can of beets, just pour the liquid in a pot, mix in some hot water, and
soak your shirt. You can get shades of pinks and reds, depending on
your beet juice to water ratio. This method can produce some very
vibrant colors, so start checking your shirt color after about fifteen
A few final notes… Be sure to wash your dyed shirts
separately from the rest of your laundry, unless you want to dye
everything else you own. Drying your dyed shirts thoroughly will help
to “set” the dye, but it will probably still bleed a bit for the first
You shouldn’t have to worry about the print,
since the plastic in the inks will resist liquids. Due to the nature of
leaving stuff lying around in vats of dye for long periods of time,
however, there’s no guarantee! Dye stuff at your own risk, and run some
tests to be confident of the results.