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Tie-Dyed Leggings

These gorgeous leggings come from artist and designer Shabd Simon-Alexander.





Jacquard Procion MX dye, soda ash, and squeeze bottles available at Blick Art Materials or other art-supply and crafts stores. Leggings available at American Apparel or other clothing stores.

To purchase tie-dyed leggings or other tie-dyed pieces, visit Shabd Simon-Alexander's online store at


  • Soda ash
  • Water
  • Leggings made from 100 percent natural fiber, such as cotton or silk
  • Rubber bands
  • Jacquard Procion MX dye in a variety of colors
  • Squeeze bottles
  • Dawn detergent (or other mild or organic detergent)


  1. Step 1

    Add 1 cup soda ash to 1 gallon of hot water. Soak leggings in this mixture for at least a half-hour. Remove leggings and wring out excess liquid.

  2. Step 2

    Scrunch and gather tights everywhere except crotch area. Hold gathered areas in place with rubber bands.

  3. Step 3

    Prepare up to six different colored dyes for the gathered areas of the leggings. In each squeeze bottle, mix 2 teaspoons dye with 4 ounces water, then add 4 more ounces to fill.

  4. Step 4

    Starting with the color you want to be least prominent, squeeze dye into folds of fabric. Let dye drip onto fabric as you cover different areas, creating a trail of color.

  5. Step 5

    Add remaining five colors, one by one, in the same manner.

  6. Step 6

    Mix three more colors of dye in similar tones (for example: yellow, light yellow, dark yellow) for the background. One by one, completely saturate the leggings with these colors.

  7. Step 7

    Let cure for 24 hours. Rinse thoroughly with cold running water, removing rubber bands once the water runs somewhat clear.

  8. Step 8

    Wash with a mild detergent in warm water, avoiding detergents with harsh chemicals, which will remove the dye. Line dry or dry in a warm dryer.

  9. Step 9


     Main ColorsYellowGoldOrangeBrown 

  10. Step 10


     Main ColorsBluePink Secondary ColorsYellowGreenBlackPurpleBrown 

The Martha Stewart Show



Reviews (25)

  • renayam 4 Feb, 2011

    This is a very cool teen project.

  • wallygator 10 Nov, 2010

    These are the most hideous things I have ever seen from Martha Stewart.

  • Maraolo 6 Nov, 2010

    Lovely is so easy to do it. I really like the second color. Thank you.

  • ElyseLucie 6 Nov, 2010

    Inexpensive leggings for adults

  • ElyseLucie 6 Nov, 2010

    You can buy inexpensive cotton leggings specifically for dyeing

  • turtlefat 6 Nov, 2010

    Absolutely love these. I can think of a dozen ways to wear them.

  • MWFlannery 6 Nov, 2010

    These leggings are actually quite attractive for a lively personality attached to long, slender legs. Add an over-sized, solid-color sweater or top, and it's quite stylish. Wish I could wear such an outfit!

  • dietpepsi 6 Nov, 2010

    SHeryll's right. The ONLY reason to do this is to "hide" stains on children's clothes. Otherwise...I can't find a reason in the world you would want to do this.

  • Sheryll 6 Nov, 2010

    I personally do not care for such a wild design for leggings and I don't like cotton leggings at all. But for kids stained clothes it is a way to salvage them for the next kid or at least to make it thru the season.

  • conlmack 6 Nov, 2010

    Well these examples are about the ugliest things ever! I'm sure the readers can do a nicer job at this.

  • Traysee13 6 Nov, 2010

    I'm all for tie dye when it's done right, but the Rust Palette looks like something a clown threw up on. The Aurora Palette is much better.

  • tm69812 20 Feb, 2010

    This is soooo great. I know Martha says that she doesn't typically like tie dye but I'm so glad she featured this on her show. It's so unique and modern!

  • kitkat0708 5 Jan, 2010


  • EVANKIRK 29 Dec, 2009

    I can't wait to try this for my five year old little girl. She is going to love it!!!!

  • ElyseLucie 28 Dec, 2009

    Leggings would be less busy if dyed in a palette of shades of soft blues or in a tie dye pattern using only 1 color of dye (like a soft sage green or celery), leaving the 1 dye color and white. Also nice in a lengthwise accordian tie dye pattern or a shibori technique. Have seen them done in this subtle way which is more wearable for some folks.

  • BeBeBarlow 28 Dec, 2009

    Ugly! A nightmare from the past, they will make WORSE FASHION NIGHTMARES for sure

  • Spandexpony 11 Dec, 2009

    Ha! Looks like AA took care of that. It used to be a problem...

  • Spandexpony 11 Dec, 2009

    I don't work for American Apparel so it doesn't really matter to me necessarily, but for your readers, American Apparel's website is The link you have embedded in the text above is incorrect. Great tutorial though! Would love to do it on a slip dress.

  • Fantasia72 6 Nov, 2009

    Love tie dye. Thanks for the tip.

  • simonsha 6 Nov, 2009

    i just checked out shabd's website

    it's awesome~

  • sfchick 6 Nov, 2009

    Reminiscent of Grateful Dead..................I love tie dyed Union Jack suits!!!

  • Klynnaw 4 Nov, 2009

    These look like a lot of fun, I can't wait to try making them!

  • tyedyegeorge 4 Nov, 2009

    I think Shabd is not only innovative, but beautiful too! I will make these with my daughters this weekend. Kudos Martha for having a guest from outside your comfort zone.

  • stephLjones 4 Nov, 2009

    these look fun and original! I want to make some for my little niece!

  • Bogoandchebo 4 Nov, 2009

    Ughh those are awful!