I'm not the most gifted when it comes to actually making something vs dreaming & shopping for it. Let's just say I prefer the 'natural look' of things...I can't cut a straight line or draw one for that matter. And I'm terrible at following directions, I always think "I know a better way" even when it's my first go-around. I prefer to just look at a picture or two and then just have at it. So when I see projects that are accepting of imperfections, in fact it's expected and part of the look, I get really excited! Right now I've got ombre on the brain. Take a look at this project and see how easygoing, forgiving and gorgeous it is! Tip: This same technique can be used on countless items--think scarves, tote bags, towels, table linens, bath mats, floor runners, pillow cases, throw blanket, linen pants, canvas sneakers, hats (baseball or beanie!) or even dip dye your own stationary!
How to Dip-Dye with Fabric DyeWe used Rit liquid dyes in Denim and Navy (ritdye.com). You can combine colors for custom shades. This technique can be adapted for unfinished wooden items and bamboo blinds (let them dry on paper towels), and paper (let the dye solution cool before dipping paper).
Tools and Materials
- Sheer jersey long-sleeve T-shirt, in White, $26, americanapparel.net
- Large plastic storage bin or galvanized-steel bin
- Stir stick
- All-purpose liquid dye
- Sample fabric or paper towel
- Sewing pins
- Synthrapol detergent (optional)
1. Wash and dry fabric to remove any finishes that resist dye. Fill plastic bin with hot water to a depth of at least 6 inches. Stir in dye, starting with a small amount and adding more as desired. Dip a sample strip of fabric or paper towel to test the color. If too dark, add water; if too light, add dye. Let solution settle, so there are no bubbles at the surface.
2. Determine where you want the top of the dyed band to be; use pins to mark that line on fabric. Holding your fabric as straight as possible, dip into dye solution to just below the pin line (make sure you don't dip the pins; the fabric will wick the dye higher). Keep fabric in dye until it turns the desired color (it will dry slightly lighter). Rinse fabric in cold water to remove excess dye until the water runs clear. Hang to dry. If desired, wash item with synthrapol detergent (see Keep it Bright, below).
Keep It BrightFor items you plan to launder, set the colors by washing the finished objects in synthrapol detergent (dharmatrading.com). This concentrated, pH-balanced detergent will keep the dye from bleeding onto undyed parts of the fabric
Read more at Marthastewart.com: Dip-Dyed T-Shirt - Martha Stewart Crafts