Finding Room to Tie Dye in a Tiny Home

My husband and I moved last month. From a small home to a tiny home. Okay, some of you might be thinking house on wheels that we haul from friends’ property to friends’ property… so I should clarify: it’s a small house that is a permanent structure and my husband doesn’t have to duck through doorways. Well, most of them. It’s a matter of perspective. To the average American, our house is a tiny home. To minimalists, it’s probably living large! But while the millennials applaud us for our minimalism, I’ve been racking my brain to see how I will be able to tie dye indoors come winter. Living in the Pacific Northwest, I’m used to doing mostly anything in the rain. What out-of-towners don’t understand is that we PNWers all grew up playing in the rain. We would just bundle up, put some rubber boots on, and head outside. So I have no problem working outside in the winter rains. However, unless I’m going for a rain dye effect, I can’t tie dye in the rain. Therefore, a lot of my tie dye process has to be indoors on rainy days (most days.)

So I’ve come up with a few solutions, which I share with you, in case you decide to tie dye in a tiny home! (A tiny home of your own, that is. Someone might find it odd if they come home to their little tiny home and a stranger is in their house tie dyeing. We at Miss American Dye do not encourage nor condone breaking and entering. Get your own tiny home.)

A kitchen table makes a great tying workspace in a tiny home.

Because dyes are not exactly non-toxic, I strongly recommend that you never use dyes in your eating space. Even if you use natural dyes, your mordants are usually non-edible. So, use your kitchen table to tie up your designs, but leave the dyeing for another space. (Soda ash, on the other hand, though it tastes like soap, is non-toxic in small amounts.)

Use the bathroom for mixing and applying dyes.

If the rain is not going to go away and come again another day, then you won’t want to risk getting your precious dye powders wet. Stay dry by setting up a workspace in your bathroom! Bath chairs make great benches for setting your dyes on. Put away any towels, cloth bath mats, and shower curtains so they aren’t exposed to dye. Though these dyes can bond to porous surfaces if left to set, as long as you wipe up any spills at the end of the day, you won’t leave any stains on your vinyl floor or bathtub. For tile, I’d suggest putting down a drop cloth as grout might soak that color up a little too well.

*Important safety note: You should always work in well-ventilated areas and use a proper respirator when working with dyes. Since we’re talking about a room that usually does not come with a window, use the bathroom’s exhaust fan and crack the nearest windows in other rooms to allow the most ventilation possible.

Take advantage of any dry weather you get!

The safest, and most spacious place to tie dye is usually outdoors. So if you’ve got a break in the rain, bundle up if it’s chilly and take your game outside! Just realize you might look a little silly (or suspicious!) to neighbors who don’t know why you have a hot pink respirator and rubber gloves. A little something I learned upon moving into town. Haha!

Finally, rinse tie dyes outdoors come rain or shine.

When your tie dyes have sat undisturbed for their allotted batch time (I wait 24-48 hours depending on the temperature), you are safe to rinse them outdoors even in the rain. Once they are running mostly clear from rinsing with cold water from the hose, bring them carefully indoors and drop them into a hot cycle in your washing machine. Make sure they are really running clear before taking to a laundromat. They tend to frown upon you dripping dye around other folks’ laundry.

So, what do you think? Can Miss American Dye continue to make professional tie dyes even in this new, small home?

I say BRING. IT. ON.


Oh, hey.

By the way…

Did you know Select Fall Styles are on sale?!

Offer ends November 1st, 2016. Shop Sale items while they are still available!