First off the supplies I used were:
- Rit Dye
o you can use powder or liquid, I went with liquid
o I found rit dye at Joann fabrics, or you can order off of the Rit website
- White fabric
o Needs to be of a natural fiber such as cotton, silk, rayon, linen or nylon (will not work with polyester)
o You can use a colored fabric as well as long as it is a natural fiber
- White cotton thread
o Only if you plan on dying the whole garment, that way the thread will match
- Metal Spoon
- Plastic gloves
o Make sure to get ones that go higher up on your wrists, I didn’t and ended up with a blue ring around my hand :(
- 3 gallon buckets
o If you are using different colors, I would get a bucket for each color
- 1 cup White vinegar for each color
o Helps absorb the dye with darker colors
- Wire hangers
o Hang fabric from after being dyed
- Old towels
o Quick clean up for any spills
- Plastic table cloth
o Put on the floor to avoid any spills
1) The Rit website recommends washing the fabric first to get rid of any chemicals that might interfere with the dye. I did not do this since I was working with lace and silk and it worked fine without it
2) Cover the floor or surface with a plastic cloth, this is a must so it does not stain your floor!
3) Prepare the dye
a. I used two different colors so I made two different buckets of color. I boiled 2 pots of water (the hotter the water, the more color it absorbs). Then pour the hot water into the buckets.
b. Read the bottle of dye for instructions on how to mix the colors. Each color will have a different recommendation. You also need to consider if you are dying yards of fabric or an already sewn garment for how much dye to add.
c. Add vinegar if bottle requires it (salt is also another ingredient to add if suggested on bottle).
d. Stir with the metal spoon
4) Wet fabric (I used another bucket for this). Squeeze out extra water.
You are now ready to dye the fabric
5) Immerse the fabric in the dye (make sure you are wearing your gloves ).
6) Pull fabric out in increments to give it an ombre effect (leave in for 2 minutes and pull two inches out, continue this until all the fabric is out of bucket)
a. Depending on the colors chosen and the effect you want you can vary the time
7) Remove fabric from dye bath and wring out extra dye. Rinse fabric with cool running water, holding the lightest color at top. Then rinse fabric in warm water until water runs clear.
a. Make sure to have towel handy if you need to clean anything up
8) Hang fabric to dry
a. I recommend hanging in a shower and placing a towel or plastic underneath the fabric to catch any drips that occur.
9) Let sit and dry overnight
Voila, you will now have given your fabric an ombre effect (if everything went correctly)
I decided to dye my garments already sewn together. I think next time I will dye the fabric first, just to make it easier and to avoid any mistakes. I wanted the ombre effect to be placed at specific places on the garments so that is why I did it this way.
See below for some photos of the process: