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Thursday, August 22, 2013

{the experiment: the dip-dyed scarf}

There is something about the Nantucket blue color of Hydrangeas that is delicate and ethereal. It's a soft reminder of summer days and balmy beach breezes. This was clearly on my mind when I was choosing a color for the dyed scarf experiment. A few months ago I saw the idea for Dip-dyed scarves in Martha Stewart Living and it looked like a fun, easy Saturday afternoon project.  I love this kind of DIY: easy with a rewarding payoff. All you need is a package of dye and a garment. For this project I used a white linen tank and two silk scarves, along with two packages of dye in Turquoise and Brilliant Blue by iDye. 

How to:  

This project is easy but messy. Try this one outside. Cover your workspace with a plastic sheet, protecting anything that you wouldn't want dyed permanently. Seriously.

Important: Put on thick rubber gloves.  I used thin rubber gloves and this happened. 

Wash and dry garment you are going to use.  Set aside. 

Fill two containers (I used plastic shoes boxes from Target) with tap water. Add dye to one container and swirl until completely incorporated. Place containers side by side. If using two different colors, use a separate water container for each color. 

For a tie dye effect on the scarf, fold the scarf into accordion pleats, iron and hang using the clips on a pant hanger (this will make it easier to dip.)

For the linen tank, I submerged the entire shirt in the dye bath and swirled it around, followed by a rinse in the clean water bath. (If you are dying more than one item, use clean water for the rinse bath between each item.)

To dye the scarves, hold the hook of the hanger and dip accordion pleated scarf into dye bath about halfway. Pull up then dip it again but this time to 3/4 of the way up and pull out quickly.

Now dip the scarf in the clean water all the way to the second dip line. 

Unfold accordion pleats and hang items fresh from the clean water bath to dry. It was a sunny day so I hung them on tree branches, giving our front walkway a bit of a natural bohemian look for an afternoon. (It's good to throw the unexpected out there every now and then.)

Be careful when disposing of the dye baths. This ink is permanent and impossible to remove once it's set in.

When items are dry, bring them inside and rinse in cool water in a sink until water runs clear. You can also throw items in a delicate wash (which is what I did) and then in the dryer to set.

That's it!

It's an easy way (for less then $5) to add a punch of your favorite color to your current wardrobe. 

The Dyed Scarf Experiment Results: Great project. Easy (but messy) with a big payoff. Definitely a happy thing.

Dye and scarves from Dharma Trading (Crepe de Chine 22 x 90 $17.05)

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