Cold Batch Ombre Dyeing

Cold Batch Ombré Dyeing - Removal Method

a Dharma featured tutorial

There are lots of ways to achieve an Ombré effect, but this tutorial will focus on the Cold Batch Removal method. This method of ombé dyeing is best used when dyeing tonal changes with a single color. For this tutorial we'll be dyeing from pale to deep turquoise.

Supplies:

Fiber Reactive Dye- We used #25 Turquoise

Synthrapol or Professional Textile Detergent

Soda Ash Fixative

Calsolene Oil

Glauber's Salt - (optional - recommended by many sources, especially for dyeing yarns and piece goods, further improves leveling and exhaustion of the dyes)

Short Sleeve Ruffle Dress- #CHO48

Mixing jars

Stirring sticks/spoons

2 or 3 plastic table covers

Plastic tub- 28-quart under-bed storage box works well

Let's get started!

Setting up your space:

You're going to need some room for this - a six foot table works well. Set your flat dye tub at one end. From the top of the box to the other end of the table, spread your plastic table cover.

Keep in mind that the water, dye, salt & soda ash are specific to this project.

Pre-wash fabric or garment.

Paste up 3** teaspoons of the Fiber Reactive Dyes with warm water, (like making flour mixture for gravy) then add about a cup of warm water to the dye paste to make a well dissolved slurry.

In the plastic storage box add two gallons of warm water. Add 2 cups of Glauber's salt, stirring as you add the salt to avoid big ol' rocks of salt in the bottom of your mix. Add 2 teaspoons of Calsolene Oil. Add 1 ½ cups Soda Ash, again stirring as you add the Soda Ash to avoid the dreaded Soda Ash rock.

Pre-wet your fabric.

Add 1-3 tablespoons of the dye solution to the tub. Immerse entire garment and swish around for 1-5 minutes (the less time, the lighter your palest shade will be.) Now the fun begins! Working from the top of the garment, pull about 3 inches out of the dye bath and drape over the top edge of the tub.

Wait 10 minutes. During this 10 minute waiting period spend a fair bit of time gently spooning the dye solution up onto the portion of the fabric that remains in the tub, but out of the dye bath.

Move fabric to one side or lift out - add 2-3 tablespoons of dye solution, mix and re-immerse fabric. Swish a bit, then pull another 3-4 inches out of the dye bath. As you pull more and more of the garment from the dye bath, lay the garment evenly out on the plastic table cover.

Move fabric to one side or lift out - add 2-3 tablespoons of dye solution, mix and re-immerse fabric. Swish a bit, then pull another 3-4 inches out of the dye bath. As you pull more and more of the garment from the dye bath, lay the garment evenly out on the plastic table cover.

Move fabric to one side or lift out - add 2-3 tablespoons of dye solution, mix and re-immerse fabric. Swish a bit, then pull another 3-4 inches out of the dye bath. As you pull more and more of the garment from the dye bath, lay the garment evenly out on the plastic table cover.

Helpful Hints

  • If you are working with dyes that have an * or ** increase the amount of dye per the instructions at the Fiber Reactive web page, also if you want a more dramatic gradation you can increase the amount of dye.
  • As you pull each section of the garment from the dye bath squeeze a bit of the excess dye from the portion of the fabric that is draping outside the tub, smooth the fabric and lay out on the plastic table cover.
  • For colors that don't have (T) use 1 cup plain salt per gallon of water instead of Glauber's Salt.
  • We dyed the whole thing, but you can keep the top portion out of the dye if you want some white.
  • If you need to be able to tuck your dye project away during the batching period and it is easier to do with a smaller packet you can create a jelly roll of the garment. Fold at least 6 to 8 inches of the plastic table cover over the top of the dress and from that end roll it up into a sweet jelly roll of dyed goodness.
  • When mixing dye for other projects we recommend 2 - 4 times what you would normally use for the amount of water & weight of fabric. Mix it separately in water, maybe a couple of cups - make the amount easily divisible by the number of "layers" you will be doing. If you have a little scale, you can use our Dye estimator by plugging in the weight of your fabric, and the number of the color you are using, then just weigh out 2 - 4 times the recommended amount of dye, depending on how dark you want the bottom to be and how much contrast you want from top to bottom. If you are only going to have 4 "layers" of color, twice as much is probably adequate, but if you are going to have 8 layers, use more dye.

Happy Dyeing!


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