T Shirt Transfer with Tie Dye Questions Answered

A common way to energize a customer’s otherwise run-of-the-mill order is to use tie-dye shirts. The splashes of bright color bring designs to life whether it’s for sports, clubs, or family reunions. Because this style is becoming trendy again, it’s been the topic of several frequently asked questions to Transfer Express’ Dealer Services department. Many garment decorators have had questions concerning heat transfer adhesion, color choice, and general tips where tie-dye is concerned.

To better address these frequently asked questions we’ve done some tie-dying of our own. Our results have allowed us to come up with some tips to better help you in your quest for colorful, interesting custom heat printed garments.

Screen Printed Heat Transfer Applied to Homemade Tie-Dye T shirt

Q: Do your heat transfers adhere to shirts that have been tie-dyed?

A: Yes! Whether you purchase t shirts that have already been tie-dyed or you dye them at home, our transfers will adhere following the standard instructions.

Q: I bought a tie-dye kit from a craft store and it says to soak my shirts in soda ash water. Will this affect the transfer’s ability to stick?

A: No. The soda ash allows your t shirts to absorb the dye more thoroughly. It will not effect the screen printed or digital transfer’s adhesion

Q: What color should I apply to my tie-dyed shirts?

A: When choosing your screen print ink color, be sure to keep two things in mind. First, the shirt is still white under all that dye. Over time your tie-dye can fade and the white shirt will be revealed. Putting a white transfer on the tie-dyed shirt may look great at first, but could make the transfer hard to see over time. Secondly, take note of all the colors in your tie-dyed shirt and choose an ink color that has enough contrast to your tie-dye. If your dye colors are bright then black tends to be a good choice for contrasting ink.

Q: I am tie-dying my own shirts. Should I press the heat transfer on the white shirts first? Or should I dye the shirts first and then press the transfers?

A: Our suggestion is to dye your shirts first – then press your transfers. Your shirts will be easier to fold, twirl, scrunch and put rubber bands on if there are no transfers on them. This will allow you to make any cool, colorful design you want without obstruction.

Q: Should my tie-dye shirts be laundered any differently after I’ve applied transfers to them?

A: No. Your customers can follow standard washing instructions for tie-dye shirts. This will not harm the transfers.

Q: Do I have to wash the tie-dyed shirt before applying the transfer?

A: If you have purchased your shirts already dyed from a supplier (like in the Transfer Express Apparel line), then no. The shirts have been prepared and are ready for immediate decoration. If you choose to tie-dye your own shirts then most processes and instructions suggest that you launder the tie-dyed shirt before using it or wearing it. While this doesn’t appear to affect adhesion, it does wash out the excess dye in your shirt.

Prepared T shirts with Tie Dye Inks

Do you have a question that we didn’t cover here? Please ask us! Our Dealer Services department is happy to answer any questions you have! They are available from 8:00am to 7:00pm Monday thru Friday.