Dip Dyeing Fabric

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Similar to tie dyeing, dip dyeing fabric involves submerging your fabric into a bucket or vat of dye to make it a different color. Use dip dyeing if you want to dye an entire piece a new color or if you want to get a striped or ombre effect to your fabric.

 Dip Dyeing fabric is the perfect way to breathe new life into old fabric.  Learn tips and tricks during the fabric dyeing series on The Sewing Loft

Gather your materials: In order to dip dye fabric, you will need:

  • fabric dyes
  • fabric or a garment to dye
  • a large bucket (one for every fabric you plan to dye)
  • a wooden or plastic stirring spoon or paint stirring stick
  • protective clothing
  • a sink or hose for rinsing

 

Dip Dyeing Fabric:

  1. Gear up.
    Put on protective clothing, such as an apron, or wear older clothing that can be stained. Wear rubber gloves as you work.

  2. Prepare the dye solution.
    Mix up a package of fabric dye (such as Rit brand dyes) in a large container such as a bucket or stew pot. You can dip dye in one single color, or repeat this step in separate containers to use more than one color.
    Tip: Be sure the fabric dye you have chosen will work well with the fiber content of the fabric you plan to dye!

  3. Dye the fabric.
    a. For a solid color: Submerge your entire piece of fabric into the dye, and let it soak in until it has reached the desired color saturation. Stir it with a wooden or plastic spoon (again, NOT for food use!) to make sure the dye soaks into the fabric evenly.Dip Dyeing fabric is the perfect way to breathe new life into old fabric. Learn tips and tricks during the fabric dyeing series on The Sewing Loft
    b. For a gradient single-color ombre effect: Dip one edge of your fabric into the dye, letting the fabric submerge into the dye by a few inches. Let it sit there for approximately 5-10 minutes, until it is nearly as dark as you want it to be. Next, let a little more of the fabric dip into the dye, leaving it in the dye bath for a slightly shorter time. Finally, submerge the last of the fabric, leaving it in the dye bath the least time of all. When you pull out your fabric it will go from light to dark in one long color gradient shift.
    c. For a multi-color effect: Dip one edge of your fabric into the dye and let it soak to full color saturation. Pull it out and rinse in cold water, then dip another section of your fabric into another pot of color. Rinse and repeat until you have used all of the colors and dyed the full piece of fabric.Dip Dyeing fabric is the perfect way to breathe new life into old fabric.  Learn tips and tricks during the fabric dyeing series on The Sewing Loft

  4. Wash the fabric.
    For all methods: rinse the fabric in cold water to remove any excess dye and then wash and dry as normal.Dip Dyeing fabric is the perfect way to breathe new life into old fabric.  Learn tips and tricks during the fabric dyeing series on The Sewing Loft

Dip dyeing fabric would be a beautiful way to create an ombre effect on a skirt or a top. It’s also the easiest way to change the color of a fabric or garment you just don’t love or that isn’t quite right for your next project. Give it a try! And when you do, share photos with us in The Sewing Loft Flickr Pool– we’d love to see!

Let's talk fabric dyeing tips and techniques. Mini series on The Sewing Loft

Fabric Dyeing Mini Series Round Up-

Come back next week when we’ll talk about creating multi-colored designs on fabric using the kettle dyeing method!

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