Let's get started!
Lay out a plastic drop cloth or newsprint on your work area. Pre-wash your garments with some Dharma Professional Textile Detergent for the best results.
First, evenly gather the bottom 2 inches of the item in your hand, keeping the hem even.
Pro-Tip: if you are gathering along a curve use a washable marker to make a guide line to gather along
Tie one zip tie or band about 2 inches above hem. Optionally tie a second about 1/2 inch higher (we are trying to keep a little white in the rind).
Soak your tied fabric in soda ash solution (1cup soda ash/1gal water). Wring out excess soda ash solution and arrange the item on the plastic.
Dissolve 2 teaspoons of Watermelon dye in 1 cup of urea water (1 tbsp urea / 1 cup water). Do the same with the Bright Green and New Emerald Green in their own cups.
Using a 1" foam brush, carefully sponge the Bright Green dye onto the bottom hem of the item. Paint just up to the first rubber band.
Using a 2" foam brush, sponge the Watermelon dye onto the top (the major portion) of the item.
Carefully flip the project over and lay it out again.
Carefully sponge the New Emerald Green dye onto the bottom hem of the item, just up to the first rubber band as you did previously.
Sponge the Watermelon dye onto back of the item, making sure the whole area is saturated with the color.
Wrap your item up in the plastic, or place it in a plastic bag, and allow it to cure 12-24 hrs. The longer you can let it cure the brighter the colors will be.
Rinse the dress in cool water until the water runs clear. Then untie the rubber bands, wash in hot water with 1/2 teaspoon of Synthrapol, rinse and dry.
Lay the dyed items back out and slip a small piece of plastic or paper between the layers of fabric. Using a small brush and Jacquard Textile Color, paint on small black watermelon seeds. Let dry, then iron to make permanent.
Now you are ready to rock some watermelon duds at your next summer extravaganza! For more tasty watermelon ideas check out our Watermelon Wonderland Pinterest Board
(We bet that song is still stuck in your head!)
Written and Photographed by Elizabeth Holdmann for Dharma Trading Co.
Watermelon, for snacking of course (but keep this away from your project area)
Fiber Reactive Dyes: #166 Watermelon, #29 Bright Green, #30a New Emerald Green
Jacquard Textile Paint #122 Black
zip lock bags or plastic bag