Why Did Mr. Wilson Wash My T-shirt?


ESL students wait in line to prepare their t-shirts to tie dye. “Ugh…” Mr. Wilson said while squeezing Andrew’s t-shirt.

Nikita Kuzin, Staff Writer

On February 22, an interesting event happened in the ESL class. For the first time, students, headed by Mr. Wilson and Mrs. Harpster, made tie-dye t-shirts. This idea occurred to Mrs. Harpster, and she, with Mr. Wilson, thought that it would be a great opportunity to build a community. Everybody could interact instead of sitting and learning, and it would be fun for all.

Tie-dye is a process of painting a t-shirt or any other piece of cloth (even shoes) by folding, twisting, pleating, crumpling and binding it with string or rubber bands and then adding liquid dye.

“I like T-shirts!” Hassan Alabbad, freshman, said.

When all the students gathered in the ESL classroom, Mr. Wilson explained the safety rules. Next, each student covered their own tray with plastic wrap to prevent paint from getting on it. Then everyone brought their t-shirts, which they had picked a few weeks before and lined up to wet them. Mr. Wilson dipped the T-shirts in a bucket with water full of chemicals. This solution prepared the fabric to accept the dye and helped with coloring the t-shirts. After this process, they took the t-shirts and twisted, rolled and swirled them to make a spiral and put strings on the t-shirts, so that they would not collapse. They colored their t-shirts with a dye. There were several bottles with different colors, and each student could choose which color to take and what pattern to make. The final act was to put the colored t-shirts in a zipper plastic bag and let them sit for 12 to 24 hours.

On the next day, all the students came to school and everyone said that they were happy with their T-shirts. Asala Al-Wadhahi, senior, said, “Making tie-dye shirts was really fun because we got to make our own designs with whatever colors we wanted. It was a fun experience, and I am so glad our teachers told us to do such a fun activity!” All the students came up with amazing, mind-blowing designs.