DIY Non-toxic tulle dyeing - 3 easy steps
How to Dye Tulle
Tulle is a type of thin netting most commonly found in gowns, veils, tutus, and similarly delicate clothing items. The material isn’t always available in a wide variety of colors, but dyeing your tulle can help you change it into almost any shade imaginable
Before dyeing your fabric, pre-clean it in a washing machine. Then, fill a disposable pot with water and turn the burner to a medium temperature. Pour the dye into the pot when the water is hot and mix until the solution is a solid color. Place your tulle in the water and let the fabric simmer for at least 30 minutes. Once the tulle reaches your desired color, remove it, rinse out the excess dye under hot water, and clean it in the washer.If you want to dye your tulle in your washing machine, or if you’re unsure of what type of dye you should buy, read on!
Dip-Dyeing Tulle on a Stovetop
Wash your fabric.Before starting the dyeing process, make sure to run your fabric through the washing machine on whatever cycle you normally use for laundry. Doing so will help remove any chemicals that could taint the tint. Though detergent is fine, avoid using fabric softener since it can leave a film on the tulle, leading to an uneven dye job.
Fill a disposable pot with water and heat it to a medium temperature.Grab a pot big enough that you can easily and fully submerge your fabric in it. Use a pot you don’t mind ruining, since the dye chemicals may make it unsafe to cook with. Then, fill it about ¾ of the way full with water, place it on a stovetop, and set the heat to a medium temperature.
- Clear the area around your burner, that way you have enough room to manipulate the fabric and nothing gets ruined if some of the dye accidentally spills out.
Pour your dye into the pot.Make sure to open your dye carefully, that way nothing spills out. Before throwing the dye in, check the container to see if there are any mixture-specific instructions you need to adhere to. Then, add the dye to the pot. For average-sized items, expect to use half a bottle of liquid dye or a whole container of powdered dye.
- While handling dye, make sure to wear rubber gloves so you don’t stain your hands.
- If you’re tinting non-natural fabrics like nylon, add up to 1 cup (240 ml) of white vinegar. If you’re dyeing natural fabrics like silk, add in a similar amount of salt instead. This will make the solution more effective.
Mix the dye with a disposable spoon for at least 1 minute.If you’re using powdered dye, make sure the particles dissolve completely before continuing. If you’re using liquid dye, mix until the solution is one solid color.
Place your tulle fabric in the pot.Dampen your item with a small amount of warm water. Then, carefully put the fabric into the dye mix. Make sure to fully submerge your item, that way every part of it gets covered with liquid.
Let the tulle simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring frequently.Turn the burner to low once the solution starts to boil. Though you should leave your fabric in for at least 30 minutes, keeping it submerged for longer may lead to a more saturated, pleasing color. To make sure your tulle gets even coverage, stir it frequently with a wooden spoon.
Remove the tulle and rinse it with hot water.When you’re finished dyeing the fabric, turn off the burner and take the tulle out of the water, being careful not to burn yourself. To avoid spilling dye, place the fabric in a small bowl you don’t mind getting ruined. Then, rinse the fabric under hot water to remove any excess dye, shutting off the water only once the color stops running.
Clean your fabric in the washer and dryer.To make sure your dye is completely set, run just your tulle through a low-load wash cycle with detergent. Then, place it in the dryer or, if you prefer, hang it out to air dry.
Dyeing Tulle in a Washing Machine
Prewash your tulle.To remove any chemicals present on your fabric, run it through a simple wash cycle with detergent, using whatever settings you normally do for laundry. Do not use fabric softener as it may hamper the dyeing process by leaving a thin film on the tulle.
Soak your tulle in hot water.To prepare your fabric for the dye mix, change your washer’s temperature setting to hot, then use the soak option to thoroughly dampen the tulle. If necessary, fluff the item after the soak to make sure it is loose and fully extended.
Pour a liquid dye mix into the detergent slot.This should not stain the dispenser as long as you rinse it immediately afterwards. Make sure to shake the dye well before putting it in, and wear rubber gloves while handling it to avoid staining your skin.
Add hot water to the detergent slot equal to the amount of dye you used.To flush any excess dye residue out of your detergent slot, fill it with at least an equal amount of hot water. This means that, if you used 1 bottle of dye, you should rinse the dispenser with at least 1 bottle of hot water.
Put in 1 US tbsp (15 ml) of detergent.Though you don’t need a lot, adding in some detergent will help better distribute the dye to every spot on the fabric, making sure it tints as evenly as possible.
Add 4 cups (950 ml) of hot salt water after 10 minutes of soaking.After adding the dye and detergent, let the tulle soak for about 10 minutes. At that time, put 1 cup (240 ml) of salt in 4 cups (950 ml) of hot water and stir the solution until the salt dissolves. Then, pour the mixture into the detergent slot to help your fabric soak up the dye.
- Pour in 1 cup (240 ml) of vinegar and another 2 cups (470 ml) of hot water if you’re dyeing nylon or silk.
Wash your tulle and dye in hot, high water.Choose the longest cycle available, making sure to select any extra rinse and spin options, then start the washer.
Run the washing machine with warm water and detergent until the tulle stops bleeding ink.Once the dye wash is finished, change your washing machine’s water temperature to warm and pour a capful of soap into the detergent slot. Then, start another long wash cycle, giving your tulle a chance to rinse out excess dye. Once the wash is complete, rinse the tulle under hot water to make sure no dye bleeds out. If some does, keep rinsing until the color stops running. Then, you can dry your fabric in the dryer or on a clothesline.
- You do not need to remove your fabric between washes.
Clean your washing machine before using it again.Before cleaning anything else, set your washing machine to the hottest temperature possible with the water level cranked up as high as it will go. Place a few disposable towels into the main chamber, fill the detergent slot with up to 2 cups (470 ml) of bleach or vinegar, and start a wash cycle. Once the cycle ends, mop up any extra dye with the towels.
Determining What Dye You Need
Use acid or all purpose dye to color nylon tulle.In order to tint properly, nylon tulle needs a significant amount of acid. You can accomplish this by purchasing full acid dyes, which use vinegar to gain their acidic qualities, or all purpose dyes, which mix acid dyes with other solutions.
Get a disperse dye to tint polyester tulle.Polyester is one of the hardest fabrics to dye because it so heavily resembles plastic. However, you can do it with disperse dyes, a form of insoluble dye that is typically only available online or from specialty dye shops. Additionally, companies like RIT are starting to offer synthetic solutions that mimic the effects of disperse dye on polyester.
Tint rayon tulle with cotton-friendly dyes.Rayon is very susceptible to dyes and you can color it with any chemical solution that works on cotton. This includes fiber reactive dyes, direct dyes, all purpose dyes, vat dyes, naphthol dyes, and natural dyes.
Color silk tulle using almost any dye.More than even rayon, silk holds dye incredibly well and you can tint it with just about any kind. In particular, silk yields good results when submerged in fiber reactive dyes, acid dyes, direct dyes, and vat dyes.
Video: How to Do Ombre or Gradient Tie Dyeing | Tie Dyeing
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