Sprinkle Dye Tutorial

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I really enjoy experimenting with different ways to apply dye. It’s so neat how you can get different looks from the same colors just by changing the way you add it to the fabric. Here’s a method that gives a pointillism or confetti look to the fabric.

Supplies:

  • Soda ash solution
  • Water
  • Powdered dyes
  • Spray bottle (optional)
  • Fabric
  • Protective gloves and mask
  • Spoon to sprinkle dye

Prepare your fabric by soaking in soda ash solution for about 15 minutes (see here for details on mixing the soda ash solution). Wring the fabric out. Protect your work area with plastic and lay your fabric out fairly flat.

White fabric laid out lightly crumpled

Lightly sprinkle the dry dyes over the fabric. (Always wear your protective gloves and mask when working with dry dyes!)

Sprinkling pink and purple dye on fabric

You could leave it like that and the dyes will leave lots of little defined dots. I opted to lightly mist some water over the whole thing to spread the dye around a little bit. The key here is to spray just a little!

Spraying water onto dye

Let it sit for about 24 hours covered with plastic so that it doesn’t dry out. Then simply rinse and wash!

Black, blue and pink speckled tank top

Some tips:

  • Sprinkle lightly! The dyes will be very intense and dark. You can barely tell I used blue because I put on too much dye and it ended up so dark it almost looks black.
  • To prevent clumping (which creates large blobs) you can use a spice shaker or mesh strainer – just don’t use it for food after using it for dye.
  • You will get unexpected colors from dyes that are mixed pigments. Check out this black – you can tell the dye is made up of lots of other colors.

Black, blue, yellow, and pink specks on fabric

  • You’ll have to rinse a little longer than normal to get all the dye out before washing.

 

Overall it was a fun technique! Next time though I’ll try not to be so heavy handed with the dyes.

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