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Kings Plaza kids' summer tie-dye event

Kings plaza converted into tie-dye factory

Brooklyn Daily
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Nice Shirt!: Allanah Rosenthal, 11, of Sunset Park shows off the tie-dye masterpiece.
Friends in tie-dye: Justine Gimeli, 9, and Bella Wren, 8, from Marine Park proudly show off their tie-dyed threads.
Suprise pattern: Ayanna Hutchinson, 7, of Flatbush waits for her tie-dye shirt to dry so she can check out the psychedelic pattern within.
Almost ready: Michelle Collins, 10, of Canarsie gets ready to unfold her shirt in progress.

Kings Plaza’s Center Court was converted into a genuine tie-dye assembly line on Saturday, when 150 kids ages 2 to 12 got the chance to craft themselves some cool, retro sun-wear for the summer season.

“The kids get to make some fun shirts they can wear the rest of the summer,” said John Scaturro, marketing director at the Kings Plaza Shopping Center and master T-shirt craftsman. “It’s one of our most popular summer Kids Club events.”

And the whole operation was done in-house — every summer, the Kings Plaza customer service department transforms into a squad of rough-and-ready tie-dye technicians, well versed in the myriad folding techniques necessary to create a range of kaleidoscopic patterns redolent of the psychedelic ’70s.

For instance, to create a stripped pattern, the clean, white shirt should be folded lengthwise down the middle, and then pleated to resemble an accordion, Scaturro explained.

To produce the iconic swirl pattern, however, requires a completely different fold. For the swirl-style, the shirt should be completely twirled from top to bottom, and then rolled-up like a cinnamon bun, instructed Scaturro.

But properly folding the shirt will only get you half-way to a tie-dye masterpiece, the marketing director and craftsman explained, and instructions on color blending are required for the kids to complete their desired patterns.

“So we teach them the differnet ways to fold the shirt, and then we give them a lesson in color,” Scaturro explained. “We’ll give them yellow, blue, and red dye, but if they want green, we teach them to combine yellow and blue.”

Not only does the event leave kids with some cool clothes, but it also gives them a great activity to complete with their parents.

“The parents have a great time as well,” said Scaturro. “Plus, the kids love working working with mom and dad.”

Reach reporter Colin MIxson at or by calling (718) 260-4514.

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