Dip Dye Adventure

Dip Dye Adventure

I recently bought a cute little strapless sundress in a lovely cheap shop called Choice. It basically sells Next seconds, and I think I got the dress for £15. 

Unfortunately because it was white it was a bit see through for my tastes, so I decided to dip dye it. 

I forgot to take a decent ‘before’ photo, but here it is wet (draped on my cooker) before dyeing. 

I bought some ‘ocean blue’ dylon hand dye (make sure you don’t get machine dye) from Wilkos, and made it up according to the instructions. Because I didn’t want to dye my lovely ceramic sink I did it in a big plastic planter I had lying around. 


I then dipped the top 3/4 of the dress in the dye. I wanted a reverse dip dye as it was the bust area I wanted darkest (for obvious reasons!). 

I left it for 15 minutes

   Then moved it up by about a 1/4 of the dress (so less fabric was in the dye). 


Another 15 minutes and I pulled out more of the fabric, leaving just the elasticated top and ties. 


I left that bit in for half an hour before dipping the whole dress in for just a couple of minutes. I then rinsed it all under cold water until it ran clear and left it in the sink (over the tap) to dry off overnight. 


Not wanting to waste the dye, I also thought I would have a go at rye dyeing Japanese style, which is called Shibori. See here for loads of ideas. 

I had an old long sleeve white top that was perfect, so I folded it concertina style. 


Then concertina style along the length to make it into a square. 

I then bound it tightly with string. Not sure if the red string was a good idea!


 I dunked the whole thing in the dye bath for just half an hour (more through impatience than anything else!). I rinsed it in cold water like the dress and left it to dry in the sink (propped on two tall cans). 


So I will hang them outside tomorrow to dry off properly and see how my experiment has gone. Can’t wait to see! 

And here they are..


The dip dye is cute, but the differentiation of colour in the different bands isn’t as much as I would like, and the line between the blue and white is a bit straight/harsh. Next time I will have the garment wetter before dyeing so you get more dye run and leave it in for less time for the first two stages. 

I like the top – the patterns are cool. Like square windows. Next time I would fold and tie it tighter and leave it in the dye bath for longer for a more defined colour difference.  

All in all I’m happy, and would certainly try it again. 


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