A couple of weekends ago we decided to make the most of this spell of sunny weather and have a day of crafting and DIY in our new little garden. Since we moved in, I’d set myself the task of bringing a splash of colour into our room by dip dying the plain white cotton curtains blue. I thought I’d share with you how things went!
Dip dying fabric is a fairly delicate process, so given all of the things that could have gone wrong, I was really pleased with the ombre effect and the bold turquoise colour is the perfect match for my kantha bedspread. I’ve added an instruction card below with some useful tips, but feel free to ask questions in the comments if you’d like to have a go yourself!
- White cotton curtains
- Needle and thread in a contrasting colour
- Enough dye for the weight of fabric. I used one packet of Dylon Bahama Blue for each curtain
- Salt to fix the dye (follow the packet instructions)
- Trouser hangers, with clips
- Two deep water-tight containers, such as plastic kitchen bins
- A dry, sunny day... dying can be messy so don't attempt this project indoors!
- Hang your curtains from their rail and look for where you would like the dye to come up to. I was looking for the blue to come two thirds or so up the curtain. Use the needle and thread to mark a first line for where you would like the solid colour of the dye to come to and a second line for where you would like the bleed to stop. Do this on each curtain.
- I was dipping into a relatively narrow container so I folded the curtains to allow them to be clipped onto a clothes hanger and lowered into the dye. Be aware that the more your fabric is folded the more chance there is that the colour will not penetrate all of the folds.
- Head outside and find a good place to hang your curtains while you dip them. I rigged a cord to the washing so the fabric was suspended in the bucket at the right height.
- Next, wet your curtains - this is the secret to achieving a soft ombre effect rather than a hard line. Fill one plastic container with clean water and lower your curtains in so the water comes up to the higher of the two lines you have marked. This will allow the dye to bleed up to the wet line, but stop (or slow down) when it reaches the dry fabric.
- Remove your curtains from the water, hang over the second container. Empty out the clean water from the first bin and use it to mix up the dye, following the instructions on the packet. Make sure before you dip the curtains that you have wiped around the sides of the container with kitchen roll to avoid any splashes of dye touching the white portion of the curtain when you dip it.
- You're ready to dip! Carefully lower your curtains into the dye and stop when you reach the first line marker. Try to keep the curtain hanging still and leave the fabric for the length of time instructed on the dye packet.
- When the time is up, carefully take the fabric out and hang over the other container to drip dry.
- Once the fabric is completely dry, gently rinse by hand in cold water to remove any excess dye. I rinsed only the dyed portion of the cloth as I didn't want to submerge the white fabric into the dye.
[Photographs and tutorial © Decorator’s Notebook]
[Dye kindly provided by Dylon]