Saturday, April 14, 2012

Science Saturday - Tie Dye with a Twist

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Last summer, I was lucky enough to spend 3 days with a very gifted science educator... Steve Spangler.
If you don't know who he is, you don't know what you've been missing!
Anyway, while I was participating in Science in the Rockies 2011, I learned that you don't have to get messy to tie dye a t-shirt.  Tie dying is one of those things that I think you really love to do or you avoid because you're afraid of it.  In my case, I avoided it like the plague.  That is until last summer.  Not only did I learn you could do it without the mess and hassle of rubberbands and buckets of dye but you can control the designs to create beautiful works of art!  That is if you're artistic.

Before I go any further, you may be thinking: "How is this science?"  It is the science of color.

Here's what you need:
a t-shirt (pre-washed)
Sharpie ™ markers
rubbing alcohol
pipettes
rubberbands
plastic cups

Here's what you do:
Choose a place to begin your design on the t-shirt.  Place a plastic cup under the cloth and use a rubberband to hold it in place. Using Sharpie ™ markers, make dots to create an outline of your design.  (Keep in mind the fact that the colors will run.)
Next use a pipette to drop rubbing alcohol in the center of the design.  This will cause the colors to run and blend. Give it a few minutes to dry out and then you can move the cup to a new location.  It is possible to set up more than one design area at a time if you want to work more quickly.

When you're finished designing your t-shirt, throw it in the dryer to "set" the colors.  Take a look at our first attempts.









By the way, Friday was the kick-off for the NC Science Festival.  There will be some really cool and mostly Free things going on across North Carolina from now until April 29th.  If you're in the area, check them out!

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