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June 19, 2011

Every time I see the word ombré I want to say olé, definitely with an exclamation point at the end. All of the beautiful examples of it out in the world have also made me want to try my hand at some ombré dyeing, so while I was visiting my parents I bought some muslin fabric and RIT dye and gave it a go.

First I cut up some fabric strips and tested various dipping times and dye ratios to get the look I wanted. Here are my test strips, drying in the sun.

I used a bottle of violet and one of purple, and I attempted to follow these instructions from RIT on ombré dyeing. The piece of fabric I was trying to dye is 120 inches wide and 3 yards long, and its large size made everything more complicated.

I boiled 4 gallons of water, then added the dye, plus salt and dish soap to an 18-gallon bin that my parents happened to have. I also added another 4 gallons of hot tap water because I could only boil 4 gallons at a time, and the first 4 took FOREVER to boil.

I folded the fabric in half-lengthwise, then wrapped it around a piece of pipe and wet it with the hose. Then I lowered it into the dye. See how my fabric is too wide for the container? This prevented me from getting straight dye lines. I should have folded it lengthwise once more, or scrunched it up.

Here’s the end product, drying on a setup I rigged in my parents’ backyard. It’s folded in half, so it’s twice as wide as it looks there.

Before I left I decided that I was dissatisfied with the end product, and tried to use the leftover dye to even up the dye lines and change the color. I ended up deciding not to leave any of it white, and this is what I ended up with:

I don’t have a place here to hang up such a large piece of fabric and photograph it, but you get the idea. Originally I was going to use the fabric as some sort of wedding backdrop, but since I’m not entirely happy with how it turned out I nixed that idea. I’ve thought of cutting it into long strips, and using those for decoration, or just not using it in the wedding at all and sewing a dress out of some of it (or maybe a cat bed–as soon as I draped it on the couch Delicious climbed on top). What do you think, what should I do with my many yards of uneven ombré-dyed fabric?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. dronningvintage permalink
    June 22, 2011 9:43 pm

    Those are gorgeous shades of lavender….and of course the kitty climbed right on top of the New Thing on the couch.

  2. Vicki B permalink
    August 28, 2011 7:04 am

    It is FAB. Use it as a curtian

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