How to Make Money Dyeing T-Shirts

It doesn’t matter where you are, people wear t-shirts. However, instead of competing with other vendors in getting the normal printed t-shirts sold why not be different? You can make money dyeing t-shirts without having to be an expert. It is a low-cost business and easy to start. All you need is a bit of creativity and of course, a few essentials.

Creativity needs

You don’t have to be an artist to work with tie-dye. You can always use stencils to create unique pictures, and also check out some online videos to see what other people are doing to make unique shirts. If you are, however, a bit more artistic, you can take custom orders from clients, and ask extra for that. In this way you can make money dyeing t-shirts on order. It means not having to carry stock and hope it sells.

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You’ll need to read up and watch videos on easy ways to dye shirts. If you know the basics of dyeing t-shirts, you’ll find it’s a very easy process and can immediately start to make money. You’ll also need to know what fabric to use and how to wash or clean dyed t-shirts. This way you can add a sticker with instruction on how to clean the shirts so people don’t ruin their shirts after one use. If their shirts keep longer, they’ll appreciate the quality, and likely buy more from you. So, the first step if you want to make money dyeing t-shirts is to do online research.

Places to sell

  • Trance parties.
  • Retail stores.
  • Online (website or Facebook).
  • Flea markets.


This is a business not requiring tremendous marketing schemes. If you’re a party person then just check out all the upcoming trance parties and book your spots. Everyone wears tie-dyed shirts at trance parties. If you can sell only four at R250 each, that’s already a R1000 per event.
You also get the opportunity to enjoy a bit of dancing and fun if you sell at these places. You won’t need an extensive marketing budget for selling at trance fests.  Someone is already marketing the flea market, and thus takes care of the footwork. You just have to be good at selling.
However, if you’re planning on making a living from this, you’ll need to market online and sell your goods there too. You can use places like Gumtree, Bid or Buy or even Facebook to sell your items. There is no need for a website, but it will be an extra place where you can make money.

Gear and materials needed for dyeing t-shirts:

  • Buckets.
  • Measuring cups.
  • Work bench.
  • Plastic (for putting inside the shirts while dyeing).
  • Containers such as jugs and bottles.
  • Old shirt to wear while working.
  • Plastic sheets to put over your working space.
  • Dye.
  • Plastic gloves.
  • Elastic bands.
  • Goggles or other eyewear to keep from getting into your eyes.
  • Injection needles or tubes to make it easier to work with the dye.
  • Zip-lock bags.

Make money dyeing t-shirts for larger orders

If you want to make many of the same shirts, and sell them in large batches, try finding small clothing stores or factory outlets where you can get monthly orders. Advertise to team building farms, schools, sports teams, and bands. Create a custom design and make a whole bunch for specific target groups. These are the basics to help you make money dyeing t-shirts. Get out there and start generating some extra income.

Author: Chanel Gauché (2017)


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