Dyeing Fabric for a Prom Dress Skirt, help!
  • Hello,
    My daughter really likes the skirt of this dress and we are going to try to dye the fabric ourselves:
    http://www.millionlooks.com/fashion-shows/couture/endless-beauty-in-elie-saab-spring-2014-couture/
    We really like the "watercolor" effect of this fabric...

    I have very little dyeing experience but I am [handy/arty/craftsy/etc] and willing to try before we give up and settle on another dress idea ;) I have studied the Jacquard catalog so I am a little familiar now with which dyes go with which fibers.
    So... in an ideal world this would be silk chiffon (is it true that "Silk can be dyed just like plant-derived fibers" and I can use Procion MX Dye?) Do I need to acidify first?
    Also, can I paint dye on and spray water?
    I was thinking of first doing a kind of conventional horizontal ombre/dip with a transparent indigo/black color. Then painting on three more colors: a warm rose, a cooler orchid, and a cool periwinkle in large blotches that watercolor fade out.
    I would greatly appreciate any and all thoughts you have.
    Thank you so much for reading this, have a great day!
  • Hi there,

    First to your question regarding Procion MX & silk - yes, you can use the Procion MX with silk and yes you do have to use an acidifying agent with the silk. (this is the general rule - one can actually use a base agent like soda ash, but there is a chance that it would change the feel of the silk so that is generally not suggested). Here is the link to the directions for using Procion MX on silk/protein fibers:http://jacquardproducts.com/assets/jacquard-site/product-pages/dyes/procion-mx/Procion MX Instructions.pdf. You'll notice that heat is required in order to set the dye which makes ombre dyeing a bit difficult as working with the hot water/fabric can be scary.
    This brings me back to using soda ash as the activating agent - as I noted it is not generally recommended, but you may want to test your chiffon with this method because it will make dyeing the fabric in the ombre fashion much, much easier and safer.
    There are tons of tutorials on the web for ombre fabric dyeing (here is just one:http://www.marthastewart.com/271427/ombre-craft-projects) - I'd recommend taking a look at several to get an idea of how it's done.
    So, I'd say, stick with your plan to use the silk chiffon & Procion MX, take a look at some of the tutorials for ombre dyeing - if you have additional questions don't hesitate to write back - and have fun!

    annette