Dyeing Some Silk for Classes

The first 2 weekends in December I am teaching a nuno felt scarf class. I need dyed scarves for that, so that was Sundays Job.

I buy my silk by the bolt so I measured out 6 feet and then ripped them into 12 inch widths. I did 16 in total. I like to use the low water immersion technique from Paula Burch’s  All About Hand Dying  site.

First I scrunch or twist or fold up the scarves and stuff them into jars as tightly as possible. I did two scarves together in the jars so there will be 2 of everything.  They won’t be exactly the same but fairly close.

jar-1 jar-2 jar-3

Next you add dye. I use 2 colours adding them one after the other.



As usual I forgot to take as many pictures as I intended. After the dye has sat for anywhere form 10 min to an hour I add the PH up that sets the dye and then leave it for at least an hour. I worked on my felt Christmas cards while I was waiting for an hour to pass. I can”t show you that until after they are received.

Next is to tip them out and rinse was and rinse again.

This is the result. They are still wrinkled . I haven’t had time to steam them flat yet.

finished-scarves-1 finished-scarves-2 finished-scarves-3

I think I got a good variety for people to choose form. I have a few left from the last class that I will take too. It’s fun to play with the colour combinations. Even the stir sticks are pretty. What’s your favourite way to dye silk?


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24 Responses to Dyeing Some Silk for Classes

  1. Lyn says:

    The silks are pretty and look like roses while they’re scrunched up!

    By-products like stir sticks seem too good to ignore – there must be some way of using them in a creative way!

    • thanks Lyn. They do look pretty swirled around like that. It was the only way I could think of to show all the colours. A friend suggested weaving them into a mixed media piece.

  2. nvukadinovic@gmail.com says:

    You got some wonderful results. I’ve been planning to do some dyeing with synthetic dyes too. My question is: do you soak silk in water and squeeze the liquid out before you put silk in the jars?

  3. Jill says:

    Yummy! Lovely colours, I adore the sheen of the silk & the depth of colour. I always use silk paints, even when doing this type of random/marbled effects. I love to use salt grains to add pattern.

  4. Irma coumantarakis says:

    Nice colors. What type of dye are you using? Thks

  5. Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

    Great results Ann! I like the low immersion method as well. Did you use acid or Procion dyes?

  6. sandyjager says:

    You must be using fibre reactive dyes, since you don’t need PH up with them. They’re pretty. I’d love to take the workshop, but it doesn’t work for me this time around. Later.

  7. queenpushy says:

    Is the silk wet or dry when you put it in the container?

  8. Wow, they are nice ! I like the first picture most, really great !! Suits to my snailhat 😉

  9. ruthlane says:

    Looks like a great bunch of colors. I’m sure the students will enjoy picking which scarf they like best.

  10. peacecat9 says:

    Beautiful colors, I love the dyeing method and the resulting scarves. The “flowers” of scarves are so pretty!

  11. Leonor says:

    So lovely how silk absorbs both acid and fibre reactive dyes!

  12. zedster66 says:

    They are gorgeous, Ann! I love the coppery and green ones. You should take individual photos to make greetings cards!

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