Tuesday, February 7, 2012

4-H Project Day: T-shirt Chemistry

T-shirt chemistry is an activity that combines chemistry and art to create a t-shirt that looks like it was tie dyed.
Place the plastic cup inside the middle of the t-shirt.  Position the opening of the cup directly under the section of the shirt that you want to decorate.  Stretch the rubber band over the t-shirt and the cup to secure shirt in place.
Place about 6-9 dots of ink from one marker in the circle pattern about the size of a quarter in the center of the stretched out fabric.  If you like, use another color marker to fill in spaces in between the first dots.  There should be a quarter-size circle of dots in the middle of the plastic cup opening when finished.
Slowly squeeze approximately 20 drops of rubbing alcohol into the center of the circle of dots.  As the rubbing alcohol absorbs into the fabric, the ink spreads in a circular pattern expanding outward from the center.  The result is a beautiful flower-like pattern.  Apply as much or as little rubbing alcohol as desired, but do not let the patter spread beyond the edges of the cup.  Allow the developed design to dry 3-5 minutes before moving to a new area.

Heat set the colors by placing the shirt in a laundry dryer for 15 minutes.  Other suggestions including rinsing the shirt in a solution of vinegar and water as a means of setting the colors.

The girls thought this project was fun and easy.

Take care,

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