How NOT to tie dye a tank top

And how to tie dye your hands instead!!


In the interests of representing DIY, and of NOT representing domestic violence, today I went to dye my wifebeater tank top, hopefully ending days of shame when wearing it.

Instead I wanted a more positive Zapatistan design. I desired a red star on the chest and back, surrounded by black, the universal color of freedom.

AND I even owned dye of the required colors!!  Food dye that is, from back when I was rocking Isa Moskowitz’s Punk Rock Gingerbread ‘Men” (I think from Vegan with a Vengeance, but there is an updated version here as gingerbread stars with black and red icing. What more could one need??

So away I went. I tried to fold the tank top as suggested here (, and tied it all up with some zip ties I had lying around in the Tager Institute. Then I proceeded to trash the bathroom with food dye! It was like someone had murdered an alien. But the alien fought back. There was red and black food dye EVERYWHERE!!

Then when I washed out the tank top, all I got was some sort of Imperial Japanese design with a whole bunch of purple?

I kinda like it though.

It reminds me of the time, during my initial Sex Pistols punk period, when I tried to dye my hair two colors at once using (you guessed it!) food dye. Red by itself was AWESOME! Green by itself was GREAT! Red and Green at once was just a brown mess. Rebellion had never been so thwarted!

So if you want to dye your hands, here is a recipe. If you want to annoy your parents, partner or flatmate, ditto. If you want to make a badass Zapatista tank top, I am sorry but I cannot help you!



~ by maoctopus on November 3, 2010.

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