color-to-color ombre dyeing

In dyeing some silk for poi veils, I thought I would try to work on my color-to-color process of ombre dyeing. I was dyeing Procion MX from Dharma Trading and based my process and proportions on their Cold Batch instructions . Dharma also has some new ombre dye instructions on their site and I referred to them, but didn’t follow them exactly.

I was working with 108″ pieces of silk and I wished to dye them 1/2 purple, 1/3 blue, 1/6 aquamarine. I masked the 1/6 end with plastic and put the rest of the silk in the blue bath for 30 minutes.

1. Mixed up salt in the water with soda ash and urea right off the bat. Added calsolene oil. Pre-dissolved the dye for color number 1.

2. Let the silk sit in the bath 30 minutes before switching to next color. For my next colors, I created two dye baths and put the blue silk into the purple dye up to the 50% mark; I unmasked the other end and dropped the white silk into the aquamarine.

3. Rinsed cold, washed in Synthropol, washed very warm with milsoft.

I have a couple pictures, one of the setup, one of the results. 30 minutes was not long enough in these dye baths; I hoped for somewhat more vibrant shades. Next time I will try 45 minutes. Also, I did not stir them often enough. I was pretty tired that evening and just didn’t have the energy. So the resulting colors are not quite as smooth and even as they could be. But they are rather pretty anyway and I hope will suit the dancer.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Darlene
    Nov 27, 2008 @ 03:40:00

    Fascinating. I find it fascinating to hear about other dyer’s creative process. And I tip my hat to anyone who has the patience to document it. My own process is very much organic and spontaneous, not organized in any way that I think I could translate what I do into any instructive process. I look forward to seeing your results.

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