How to dye silk scarves
Hi Creative Mamas! Today I want to share with you the different ways in which you can dye a silk scarf with natural dyes.
Creating natural color is super easy and a hand dyed silk scarf makes for the perfect gift.
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What kind of dye do you use on silk?
I use natural dyes for all kinds of dyeing. My days of using chemical dyes are over and I have specialized in creating natural color over the last decade.
In this post I will cover my go to techniques that are all part of my natural dyeing practice. These techniques are my favorite ones when it comes to dyeing silk scarves quickly and easily.
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Natural dyes for natural color
There are so many natural dyes that can be used in silk. The beauty of silk is that it comes in different weaves, thicknesses and textures.
The natural color will take differently depending on how the fabric has been woven and produced.
Below is a range of colored silk scarves that I have hand dyed using logwood, madder, eucalyptus, tumeric and madder combined, onion and cochineal.
Let’s go through the different ways in which you can hand dye a silk scarf using natural dyes.
Bundle dyeing silk scarves
Bundle dyeing is a great method to use if you are dyeing silk scarves. Making little bundles is very experimental and you don’t need to worry about the color being even.
You can play around with different dips and different types of flowers and leaves. You can read all about bundle dyeing here.
To make the bundles you will need to know which flowers and leaves to use in order to get nice quality botanical prints.
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Eco printing silk scarves
Similar to bundle dyeing, Eco printing on fabric allows you to get prints from leaves and flowers.
Steaming the silk scarves
If you are using the traditional hot bath natural dyeing method outlined here you will not be steaming the scarves.
However, if you are eco printing or bundle dyeing the scarves then you will need to steam them for an average time of 60 minutes.
You can experiment with different lengths of times but I have found that 30 minutes is not enough for the print to set and 90 minutes seems to dilute the print because there will inevitable be some water contact in the long process.
All of these dyes will take beautifully to silk fabric and you will not be dissapointed 🙂
White silk scarves
For best results you will want to start from a basic white silk scarf. You can buy them here.
Mordant silk scarves
It’s important that you prepare your silk appropriately and that involves mordanting the silk before you dye it.
Check out this post for an overview of how mordanting works but in the case of silk I only use Alum Sulphate because it’s the most eco friendly and safe option but it also provides us with the best results.
Gift wrapping with silk scarves
Once you have dyed a few silk scarves, you will probably have a some extras. I use my experimental pieces as gift wrapping.
You can also complement the silk scarves by gift wrapping using eco printed paper as shown in the photo below. Check out eco print paper gift wrapping tutorial here.
Tie dyeing a silk scarf
Tie dyeing silk scarves is a very clever use of natural dyes. You can combine 2 or 3 different dyes to create tie dye patterns on your scarves.
How do you dye a silk scarf with food coloring?
This is definitely not my are of expertise but check out this tutorial. We spent one afternoon with my daughter experimenting with food dyes to color wool fabric, wool yarn and paper.
Whatever works for wool will work beautifully with silk so if you are keen to try go for it! This is definitely super fun to try with kids!
I hope you have enjoyed this post! Please feel free to reach out with any questions that you may have.