How to Dye Fabric Black with Sharpie: 9 Easy Steps

Last Updated on August 5, 2023

Today, we will unravel the captivating art of dyeing fabric black using a common household item: Sharpie permanent markers. Who knew that a simple marker could transform plain white fabrics into stunning tie-dye masterpieces?

How to Dye Fabric Black with Sharpie
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Tie-dye has been a beloved craft for decades, celebrated for its vibrant patterns and unique designs. And now, we’re taking it up a notch by exploring an exciting technique to achieve a striking black dye effect.

The best part? It’s a hassle-free, mess-free method that anyone can try. So, gather your materials and let your imagination run wild as we dive into the world of Sharpie tie-dye magic!

Does Sharpie dye fabric?

Can you dye fabric with Sharpie? Yes, Sharpie markers can be used to dye fabric. The process, known as Sharpie dyeing, is a simple and accessible method that requires minimal space and supplies. By taking precautions to protect your hands and work surface, you can achieve colorful results on fabric using Sharpie markers.

Dive into the art of dyeing with Acrylic Paint, Turmeric, Tea, Coffee, Black ink, Polyamide, Wine and Hair Dye. Intrigued? Explore the captivating articles and unleash your creativity.

How to dye fabric black with Sharpie

This technique is easy and allows you to create unique and personalized designs. So, gather your materials, and let’s get started!

Materials Needed

  • Plain white T-shirt
  • Sharpie permanent markers (avoid Crayola washable markers)
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Hair ties or rubber bands
  • Towel (to protect your working surface)

Step-by-Step Guide on Dying fabric black with Sharpie

1. Prepare your workspace

Lay down a towel to protect your working surface from any accidental ink spills. Make sure to choose a towel that you don’t mind getting stained with Sharpie ink.

2. Twist and secure the shirt

Hold the middle of the white T-shirt with one hand and start twisting it. Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to do this. Experiment and have fun! Add hair ties or rubber bands randomly along the twisted fabric to secure it in place. You can create as many sections as you like, depending on the design you want to achieve.

3. Start coloring with Sharpie

Begin coloring your twisted shirt using Sharpie permanent markers. It’s important to note that the more you color, the better the result will be. Avoid leaving too much white space, as the goal is to create a vibrant tie-dye effect. Make sure to color inside the creases and around the hair ties, as these areas will create interesting patterns.

4. Explore different colors

Feel free to use multiple Sharpie colors to create a dynamic and eye-catching design. Blend colors, overlap them, and let your creativity flow. If you feel one color dominates the design, introduce another color to balance it.

5. Incorporate black for contrast

While the other colors are important, using black Sharpie can add a striking contrast and make the design pop. Apply the black ink sparingly, allowing it to break up the other colors and create visual interest.

6. Touch up and fill in gaps

If you notice any white spots or areas needing more color, return with the appropriate Sharpie color and fill them in. This step ensures that your tie-dye design appears vibrant and complete.

7. Activate the tie-dye magic

This is where the magic happens! Unscrew the cap of the rubbing alcohol and slowly pour it over your colored shirt. The rubbing alcohol helps the molecules in the Sharpie ink expand, creating a beautiful tie-dye effect. Be sure to have a towel underneath the shirt to catch any excess liquid.

8. Dab and dry

Gently dab the shirt with a towel to remove excess moisture. Keep in mind that rubbing alcohol may also affect the towel, so avoid using one that you don’t want to get stained. Hang your shirt on a hanger outdoors or in a well-ventilated area to allow it to dry completely.

9. Lock in the color

To ensure the longevity of your tie-dye design, ask a parent or guardian to iron the shirt. Ironing will help set the Sharpie ink, preventing it from fading or washing out. After ironing, your tie-dye masterpiece is ready to wear and withstand washing.

How do you make Sharpie permanent on clothes?

To make Sharpie permanent on clothes, follow these steps:

  • Create your Sharpie design on the fabric, ensuring that you apply a generous amount of ink.
  • Once your design is complete, place a clean cloth or paper towel over the design to protect your iron.
  • Preheat your iron to a high heat setting without steam.
  • Place the hot iron on top of the cloth or paper towel covering the design and apply pressure. Move the iron in a circular motion for about 30 seconds to heat set the ink.
  • Remove the iron and cloth/paper towel, allowing the fabric to cool down.
  • After the heat setting, always wash your shirt in cold water to help preserve the ink. Avoid using hot water, as it can cause the ink to fade or bleed.
  • When washing, turning the shirt inside out is recommended to protect the design further.
  • After washing, hang or lay the shirt flat to dry, avoiding direct sunlight if possible.

Follow these steps, you can ensure that your Sharpie design stays on the fabric, allowing you to enjoy your personalized t-shirt for a long time.

FAQs – People Also Ask

Can you use Sharpie on a shirt?

Yes, you can use Sharpie markers on a shirt. However, to make the Sharpie ink permanent and preserve it on the fabric, it is recommended to set the ink using one of several techniques, such as applying heat from an iron or clothes dryer. For optimal results and long-lasting designs, it is advisable to use Sharpies or other markers specifically designed for use on fabric.

Does black Sharpie stay on clothes?

Yes, black Sharpie markers generally stay on clothes well, but there is a possibility of bleeding; however, with the right method, Sharpie designs on fabric can last for years.

Are Sharpie pens permanent on fabric?

Sharpie permanent markers are not as permanent on fabric as pens specifically made for drawing on clothes; they may bleed and fade after multiple washes.

Is Black Sharpie waterproof?

Yes, Sharpie Products – Sharpie, Black Sharpie markers are waterproof, meaning the ink is resistant to water and will not smudge or fade when exposed to water.

Will washing clothes remove Sharpie?

While Sharpie markers are considered permanent, the marks may fade over time with frequent washing. However, if you spot-treat the Sharpie marks using the outlined methods, they are less likely to be removed or fade significantly.


So, in summary, twist the shirt, secure it with hair ties, color it with Sharpies (using multiple colors and a touch of black for contrast), pour rubbing alcohol over the design, dab and dry, then lock in the color by ironing, resulting in a vibrant tie-dye shirt that’s ready to wear and enjoy!

Congratulations! You have successfully tie-dyed your plain white t-shirt using Sharpie permanent markers. Embrace the uniqueness of your design and enjoy wearing your one-of-a-kind creation. Remember to share your tie-dye experiences in the comments below. Have a great time expressing your creativity through tie-dye!

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