Pomp And Circumstance

How To Dip Dye Fabric

Posted in D.I.Y., Decor Files by Miss Circumstance on March 27, 2012

Miss Pomp and I created a dip dyed fabric wall for the Verve Coffee Roasters Event we did. This was a bit of a crap shoot cause we have never done this before, but I gotta say it wasn’t very hard. I also gotta say it’s not like we were dip dying in the shape of the Mona Lisa or something. We were justing trying to go for that ombre effect.

We ordered 30 yards of muslin fabric, and cut it into 10 foot sections. We did not cut the strips until after we dyed them, that way we had less strips to dye.

This is a case of the ol’ search-high-and-low-in-your-garage-and-use-what-you-got deal. So what did we have?? A ladder, bungee cord, storage tub, and extension cords. And this is what we Macgyvered-

We put the tub under the ladder, and tied a knot with the fabric around the middle of the bungee cord, then attached the cord to the ladder. That way we could easily pull the fabric up in sections and hook it to the ladder. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s how you start-

1. Pick a tub you don’t care about. Cause it will be toast after this. Officially stained.

2. Follow directions on dye packet to prepare dye in tub.

3. Set up Macgyvered pulley system.

4. Pre-wash your fabric by the way. This does make a difference. We dyed one without doing that and it didn’t work as well. Often times the new fabric has chemicals on it that make the dye not penetrate right.

5. We dipped most of the fabric in, and left out about a two foot sections so it had no dye on it at all.

6. Some dyes are cah-ray-zee potent and we literally only left the first section in for about 20 seconds before we pulled it out a few feet. Then the next sections were pulled out incrementally, after about 10-15 minutes. We did about four sections on each fabric strip.

When we were done, we draped the fabric over a clothesline we made using an extension cord.

I’m tellin’ ya extension cords are my new friend. They are super easy to pull taut because they don’t slip. They pretty much stay where you put them, even if you tie a loose knot.

After we dipped, dyed, and dried, then we ripped them in the strips. Here’s the final product-

It’s a little bit of a drastic leap from the no-dye part to the dyed-part, but one thing that I think works is if you wash the fabric in cold water after. It bleeds a bit, which this may be the one time that works in your favor. It lightly dyes the not-dyed part.

This whole dip-dyed thing is something I think I want to do more. Cause check it out…

This is West Elm’s Dip-Dye Floor Mat. How wonderfully easy would this be to make?? You can get a white cotton rug from lots of places for cheap. I’m so doing this.


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