Learn How to Ombré Dye

Ombré is a French word meaning “to shade” and is used to describe a dip-dye effect given to fabric in which the shades of color graduate from light to dark. What we love most about this technique is its imperfectness because the end result reminds us that it was colored by hand.

Important Notes

Instructions

  1. Before dyeing, remove any visibile stains on the fabric. This will help achieve uniform color results when dyeing. Prewash item in warm, soapy water. This helps to remove any finishes that may interfere with dye absorption.
  2. Gather supplies.
  3. Cover work area with plastic table cover and have paper towels handy to protect against any possible spills.
  4. Fill a plastic container or stainless steel sink with two gallons of hot water. The water should ideally be 140ºF. If tap water is not hot enough, heat water on the stove and add to the dyebath.
  5. To enhance the color: (1) add one cup of salt when dyeing fabrics containing cotton, rayon, ramie or linen; (2) add one cup of vinegar when dyeing fabrics containing nylon, silk or wool.
  6. Add 1 teaspoon of dish detergent to help promote level dyeing.
  7. As a general guideline, one liquid bottle or two powder packages dyes up to two pounds of dry fabric.
  8. Wearing rubber gloves, add well-shaken dye or powder package(s) to dyebath.
  9. Wet fabric.
  10. Wrap two-thirds of your garment around a dowel rod.
  11. Immerse the bottom one-third of the item in the dyebath for 10 minutes, gently moving it back and forth and up and down.
  12. Dip the middle section of the garment in the dyebath for 5 minutes, gently lifting and lowering it to create lighter and darker shades or until your desired shade is achieved.
  13. Unroll the top section of the garment or fabric and quickly dip it in the dyebath just long enough to achieve a very light shade. Or, if desired, the top section can remain white.
  14. Remove garment from the dyebath. Squeeze out excess dye.
  15. We strongly recommend using Rit ColorStay Dye Fixative immediately after dyeing and before washing. It enhances the color, increases color retention and prevents dye from bleeding into white areas. Follow these instructions.
  16. Rinse in cool water until rinse water begins to run clear.
  17. Wash in warm water with a mild detergent, rinse and dry.

Due to the complexity of dyeing synthetics, you must use the stovetop method to maintain an almost boiling temperature for the duration of your dyeing (around 180 F°).

  1. Before dyeing, remove any visibile stains on the fabric. This will help achieve uniform color results when dyeing. Prewash item in warm, soapy water. This helps to remove any finishes that may interfere with dye absorption.
  2. Gather supplies.
  3. Cover work area around stove with plastic table cover or newspaper and have paper towels handy to protect against any possible spills.
  4. Fill a stainless steel pot with two to three gallons of hot water.
  5. Add 1 teaspoon of dish detergent to help promote level dyeing.
  6. As a general guideline, one bottle of Rit DyeMore will dye up to two pounds of dry fabric. If dyeing 100% polyester or trying to achieve a very bold color, double the dye quantity.
  7. Cover pot and heat water on stove top to just below boiling (or 180 F°).
  8. Wear rubber gloves to protect hands from getting stained and to insulate them when working with hot water.
  9. When water begins to simmer, add well-shaken dye and mix well.
  10. Wet fabric.
  11. Wrap two-thirds of your garment around a dowel rod.
  12. Immerse the bottom one-third of the item in the dyebath for 10 minutes, gently moving it back and forth and up and down.
  13. Dip the middle section of the garment in the dyebath for 5 minutes, gently lifting and lowering it to create lighter and darker shades or until your desired shade is achieved.
  14. Unroll the top section of the garment or fabric and quickly dip it in the dyebath just long enough to achieve a very light shade. Or, if desired, the top section can remain white.
  15. Remove garment from the dyebath. Squeeze out excess dye.
  16. When desired color is achieved, remove wrapped fabric from the dyebath. Squeeze out excess dye.
  17. Rinse in warm water and then gradually cool water until rinse water begins to run clear.
  18. Wash in warm water with a mild detergent, rinse and dry.

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