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Carnival Socks

Extract from Tie and Dye • By Lizzie King • Published by Pavilion


$ $ $ $ $
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45 mins

Tie and Dye
I make these socks every year in the lead up to Notting Hill carnival, which is my favourite time of the year! I once put them inside a huge tropical cocktail piñata I made for a carnival warm-up party. Wear these and a whistle and you are ready to go! Aside from carnival i always have some brightly dyed socks in my studio, to give to friends and visitors. I love meeting up with a friend and seeing that the carnival socks i gave them are still going strong! You can also dye white sports socks, which is great when you have worn them so much they have gone grey.

Posted by Anova Published See Anova's 60 projects » © 2021 Lizzie King / Pavilion · Reproduced with permission. · Extracted from Tie & Dye by Lizzie King, published by Pavilion. Photographs by Lizzie Mayson.
  • How to make a sock. Carnival Socks - Step 1
    Step 1

    Place two of your socks on top of each other on a clean flat surface.

  • How to make a sock. Carnival Socks - Step 2
    Step 2

    This is so that you get a matching pair.

  • How to make a sock. Carnival Socks - Step 3
    Step 3

    Accordion fold your socks, starting at the top of the sock and folding all the way down 
to the toes.
    I usually dye a few pairs of socks at once – you can get multipacks from markets and big high street shops

  • How to make a sock. Carnival Socks - Step 4
    Step 4

    Now secure with a tight elastic band on each end of the folded socks. Position the bands so that the socks are divided into three equal sections. Soak your socks in water, then squeeze out the excess water so they are damp but not dripping wet.

  • Step 5

    Mix up your dye following the instructions for my squeezy bottle technique on page 16. 
Pour each of the three colours into your three squeezy bottles.

  • How to make a sock. Carnival Socks - Step 6
    Step 6

    Hold your socks over a bucket, take the red dye and pour gently over one end section of the sock. For this project you don’t want to overlap the dyes to make a blended colour. Pour the dye up to the elastic band.

    Remember that you have two socks folded together so the folds are quite thick. If you don’t want much white left on your socks, then poke the nozzle of the squeezy bottle into the folds of the socks and squirt some dye in there.

  • How to make a sock. Carnival Socks - Step 7
    Step 7

    Now take the yellow dye and pour it over the middle section. Again squirt some dye into 
the folds, if you want.

  • How to make a sock. Carnival Socks - Step 8
    Step 8

    Finally use the green dye to dye the last section of the socks. Squirt some dye into 
the folds of the sock, if you choose to.

  • How to make a sock. Carnival Socks - Step 9
    Step 9

    Repeat the folding, tying and dyeing process on all your pairs of socks. Give the socks a squeeze and put each pair into a separate plastic bag. I usually wrap the bag around the socks then secure with an elastic band so that the dye won’t leak out and soak into the other parts of the sock. Don’t forget: green + yellow + red = brown.

  • How to make a sock. Carnival Socks - Step 10
    Step 10

    Leave the socks in the bag for at least 12 hours. Rinse under cold water, then take the bands off and hang up to dry. Wash in the washing machine at 30°c then allow to dry.
    The dye may run a little the first time you wash your carnival socks, so don’t wash them with anything white. After that the colours will be fixed and they are ready for the road!

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