Ombré and dip dye. I am obsessed. I’m not really sure what it is, but it makes me so happy! So when Elle, who owns the hire company Inspire Hire, sent me this shoot that she styled, complete with a DIY tutorial on exactly how they achieved this super gorgeous effect on the tablecloths and the dress, I knew you’d love to see it.
OK, over to Elle for the tutorial!
“For this shoot, we wanted to create a real WOW with colour”, she said. “I dip dyed cheap bed sheets as tablecloths and cotton napkins sourced on eBay for the table. I also customised some white Ikea plates with china paint to create a ‘dip dye’ effect. My fingers ended up an entertaining shade of blue afterwards!”
♥ Natural fabric in a pale colour (we used cotton for the napkins and bed sheets and silk for the skirt)
♥ Hand fabric dye in your choice of colour
♥ Dye salt
♥ Rubber gloves
♥ Plastic bucket
♥ Wooden spoon or stick
♥ Warm water
♥ Cold water
“The process is really the same what ever you are dying. However even if you are very accurate and always follow the instructions on the packet there can sometimes be an unexpected outcome. This is all part of the creative fun but you should do some tests first to see how you get on before embarking on something big like a dress!”
Step one: Put on your rubber gloves and fill the plastic bucket with the warm water.
Step two: Follow the instructions on your dye packet to mix the dye and any salt required in a smaller container and add to your large tub or bucket.
Step three: Take the fabric and dip the bottom 1/3 of it in the tub of dye, draping the rest over the side of the bucket. Leave the fabric in the dye solution for about 30-45 minutes, checking the depth of colour every so often.
Every fabric will take up dye differently, and once rinsed and washed the colour is likely to be lighter. If you wish to achieve a darker colour leave the fabric in the container for longer.
Step four: After you have achieved the depth of colour required, lower a further 1/3 of the fabric into the dye, and leave this for half the time used to achieve the darker colour. Repeat this process again with the top 1/6 or the fabric reducing the time again by half to achieve an even paler colour. Leave the top 1/6 of the fabric in the original fabric colour.
Step five: Carefully remove the fabric from the dye, letting it drip for a few seconds. Follow the dye packet instructions to rinsing your fabric; most will require rinsing in cold water and then washing on a 40-degree wash cycle.
It’s also worth noting that polyester and most man made fabrics will not take standard dyes but you can get special dyes that work with them. Also, dyes will work differently on the different components of a dress so if you dye a dress that has silk and cotton fibres, or any embellishments, the resulting colour will not be the same all over. As I said, there’s a bit of trial and error involved but that’s all part of the fun!