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Ombre Dyed Mermaid Gown

RX Queen Costuming

By Paige

September 8, 2017

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Project Description

Turning a 100% polyester used wedding gown into a mermaid-themed stunner!


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Prep, dyeing & Rinse time: About a full day

Rit Products Used


You'll Also Need

  •   4 gallon pot

  •   fabric scrap

  •   latex gloves

  •   plastic wrap

  •   stove pot

Step By Step

  1. First things first, I heated up a huge stock pot of water and mixed two bottles of the Royal Purple. I slowly began to add Graphite and Racing Red to get a deep plum, as the Royal Purple alone had quite a blue hue. I had a yard of 100% polyester satin, as my dress was made of the same material, that I cut into strips and used to test. I also adjust the length of time I left my material in the pot of dye to ensure I was going to get the darkest colors, as that's the hardest part of dyeing sythetics.

  2. I thoroughly wet the top part of my dress and a little beyond what I was planning to dye to begin the ombre shading. While it is always recommended to thoroughly wash a garment before dyeing, in this case I did not because I knew the pleats were going to be hard to save and wanted to protect them as much as possible. Leaving the rest of the dress dry also made it far easier to handle while dyeing.

  3. I dipped the top half of the dress all the way into my pot of dye, still maintaining the proper temperature. The total dye time was going to be 40 minutes, and as time wore on, I lifted my dress out of the pot bit by bit to get a slightly lighter color where the next color was going to go. It is CRUCIAL to leave your synthetic in the dye for as long as possible and maintain heat!

  4. When the top of the dress had been in the pot for the proper amount of time, I took it out of the dye and dropped it into an 18-gallon tote. I then took it outside and rinsed it with the hose until the dye ran clear. I then hung up the dress and reformed the pleats while I went inside to mix up the next color.

  5. For the blue, I used two bottles of Sapphire blue and again slowly mixed in some Graphite to darken it and some Royal Purple to give it more of a "cobalt" hue. When it was time, I wet my dress again from the end of the purple just to where I was going to blend the next color. Then I again put the middle part of the gown in my huge stock pot, leaving some of the purple top part in so that the colors would blend nicely.

  6. After rinsing in the same manner as I had previously, this time I laid the dress down on a tarp and reformed some of the pleats and let it lie flat while I mixed up the green. For this green I simply added two bottles of Peacock Green to the blue I had just used. (I honestly wish I'd bought just one more, maybe two bottles of the green to add, would have given it a more vibrant hue).

  7. This part is a little questionable. I DID manage to get my entire train into the stock pot, however, I wish I had just boiled up two large batches of dye and attempted to dye it in a tote. While I would not have been able to maintain the heat, I believe that it would have been fine with double/triple the amount of dye. It should be allowed to move freely and I would have gotten a deeper shade this way, but it still turned out all right!

  8. I hung the gown up to dry and then spent a super long time pressing. In the attached photos I had already worn the gown to an event, so it needs yet another pressing, but that's it! Don't be afraid to dye 100% polyester fabrics with Rit DyeMore! A word to the wise: this is an ALL-DAY project, so make sure you leave yourself the right amount of time!




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