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How to Tie Dye A Waffle Weave Blanket!

by Ann Thariani, GildenTree.Com

Looking for a really fun way to create a unique thow blanket for yourself or a friend? With a tie-dyed Waffle Weave Blanket, you'll be the envy of all the other picnickers, festival attendees or beach-goers! 

We made this blanket at the Nebraska Chapter A  TTT Tie-Dye Party. TTT is a national group that helps send girls to camp.  At this party, our TTT Campers dyed t-shirts, told us all about camp and generally had a great time. Read more about the National TTT Society.

Gilden Tree Waffle Weave Blankets are 100% Cotton so they're a snap to tie-dye. We made a blanket in blue, purple and magenta, but why not use your favorite team's colors or match a bedroom?

For this blanket, I used a white Classic Waffle Weave Throw Blanket. Alternatively, you could use a Classic Waffle Weave Bath Sheet, or a Modern Waffle Bath Sheet.

Supplies Needed:

Waffle Weave Blanket or Bath Sheet
Large bucket
Rubber Gloves
Soda Ash
Rubber Bands
Plastic Bags
Squirt Bottles
Fiber Reactive Dyes


Step 1:  Preparing the blanket

Although you normally always pre-wash items to be tie-dyed, I didn't wash my blanket.  Waffle weave shrinks to form little honeycombs after washing and drying, which I thought might be thicker and harder to tie.

Wearing rubber gloves, add soda ash to water in the bucket, following the directions on the box.  Immerse the whole blanket in the soda ash solution for at least 20 minutes.

Remove the blanket, wringing out as much solution as possible.

Step 2:  Tying the blanket

Lay the blanket flat, (we left the blanket folded in half) and start grabbing little pinches of cloth and securing them with rubber bands.

You can also do some "doughnut" pinches, where you rubber band the pinch and then push the tip back through.  Kathy and I started in the corners.

Here's Nancy getting the last few pinches in. We just kept pinching until  we couldn't pinch any more.  Then put your blanket on a plastic bag or pad of newspapers for dying.

Step 3:  Dying!

Nancy helped Maya pick out the colors, and then Maya, Luke and Rashaya used the squeeze bottles to apply dye all over.

Choose your colors and saturate as much as possible. Don't worry - you'll still have plenty of white left. (I thought we'd totally soaked it, and was surprised how much white was left.)

Once you're done squirting the dye on it, put the whole thing in a plastic bag, seal it and let it sit for 24 hours.

Step 4:  Untying, Rinsing, Washing and The Big Reveal!

After 24 hours, my son Ali and I removed the blanket from the bag, and cut or pulled off all the rubber bands. This is the fun part - as you start to see the design unfold.


Rinse the blanket well - with a hose if you're outdoors, or in a large sink indoors.

Wash the blanket on a gentle cycle. (I didn't use any special laundry soap.) Then dry it as usual.  

Voila! An amazing one-of-a-kind blanket!

Thanks to all my TTT friends - Nancy, Vanna, Tanya and Kathy for helping with this blanket, and to Lisa, Jen S, Jen M, Jamie, and Tammy for help with tie-dying and the picnic!

Thanks also to the kids, Maya (my daughter) and friends Luke and Rashaya for doing the actual dying.

Finally, thanks to my son Ali for helping with the untying and rinsing.