A Dyer's Market

Add hints of color to your home and wardrobe

DIY dyeing isn’t just for flower children. Style mavens with a whimsical streak have reclaimed the trend as their own and are dip-dyeing everything from homewares like pillows and tablecloths to garments like jean shorts and linen skirts. More commonly known as ombre, the look is typified by a light-to-dark gradient, and it’s much easier to re-create at home than you’d think. Follow our easy instructions to get dripping.

What You Need

  • Rubber Gloves
  • Powdered fabric dye (We used Procion MX Dye in Cobalt Blue, Fire Engine Red and Jet Black; Plaza Art Supply, 1900 K St. NW, #2; 202-331-7090)
  • A prewashed, white, 100 percent cotton, linen or rayon garment or textile.

What You Do

  1. Put on your rubber gloves.
  2. Dump 1/3 of the dye into the bucket and mix it according to the directions on the label.
  3. Dip your prewashed article into the bucket up to the point where you want your color to start. This will be the highest, lightest layer of three.
  4. Swish it around for 10 seconds and pull it out.
  5. Add another 1/3 of the dye and mix well.
  6. Dip your item again, this time a few inches lower than the line you just created.
  7. Swish it around for 10 seconds and pull it out.
  8. Add the remaining dye and mix well.
  9. Dip your piece one last time, this time a few inches lower than the line you just created.
  10. Swish it around for 10 seconds and pull it out.
  11. Allow the dye to set according to the instructions on the label.

 

Holley Simmons is the dining editor of The Washington Post Express. When she’s not reporting on local restaurants and tastemakers, you can find her sewing a dress from a 1950s pattern or planting a windowsill herb garden. Contact her at holley.simmons@wpost.com.
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