Tie Dye DoodleFall 2012 Mobile Apps
"Tie Dye Doodle" is a fun, creative activity. Players choose a shirt style (several types of T-shirts, tank tops, and plain fabric) and a style of tie-dye (traditional sunbursts and spirals, stripes, stars, hearts, even complicated happy faces and peace symbols). The app shows how to fold the shirt (they make it look easy--virtual T-shirts never get lumpy or tangled up) and then players can choose where to put rubber bands and how to apply the dye. Dye application is flexible. The app provides a wide range of colors to chose from to begin with, and then a near-infinite number of degrees of shading are allowed by how much dye the user puts in place. After the shirt is finished, players can add embellishments in the form of text, gems, and other appliques. Finished shirts can be put in the closet on a virtual model (minimally customizable), but the closet holds only sixteen shirts and replaces them on a first-in, first-out basis. For permanent storage the image of the model wearing the shirt must be saved as a photo on the iPad. This caused some initial frustration when the children did not realize their early shirts were about to disappear.
Shirts in the closet can also be ordered for real-life purchase. The tie-dyeing process allows for the creativity of the real thing, with none of the mess or the time-consuming laundering process. However, this makes for a rather less memorable and meaningful experience. It is fascinating to see how the folding and tying process results in a final pattern and it would be fun to use these digital examples to design a real-life shirt; doubtless the made-at-home result would be less perfect than the image or the ordered one, but the unpredictability is part of what makes real tie-dyeing entertaining. The digital form, because it is fairly easy, will encourage children to try the more difficult art of hands-on tie-dying.