Saturday, August 25, 2007

Hand-dying Ribbon:I suggest latex gloves!

These are ribbons (technically called "braids" apparently) that I bought at Dressew in downtown Vancouver. I got a SWEET deal on 'em. I'll never want to overpay for embellishments again! :0) These will make excellent handles for totes and purse "boxes" and general add-ons for cards. Some were .49 cents & .99 cents/ meter. When I did the math for comparison with Craft store prices, I was floored. The variety at Dressew was out of this world. Overwhelming! It was a good thing that they were closing when I went, or there would've been trouble! Trick to dying your own ribbons is to be sure that the varieties you buy are made with enough cotton to be able to take the reinker (as dye).

You can see how these are different monochromatic hues; that's because they're different textures. (I only used "bordering blue" & "blue bayou" reinkers on these).

So, how do you do it? Three easy steps:

1. Just put a little water in a ziplock baggie or a bowl & then add several drops of reinker (amount depends on how intense you want it).

2. Plop the ribbon in & after saturating it, just slide two fingers over--removing excess water (let the drops fall back into your zip lock for more dying.) Gloves are great for this step.

3. Finally, there are two ways to dry it. Just hang it over your shower rod and pull the ribbon back and forth (with one end in each hand & the middle slung over the rod: letting the rod provide pull that "irons" it. Alternatively, you can lay it flat on a counter (one that won't stain). I also used my hair straightener! LOL :0)

E.T.A. Here's an alternative great way to do it


Michelle said...

I love dying ribbon so it matches just right, but I don't use gloves. I like having rainbow colored fingers. Actually, I can't wear latex and vinyl gloves are too big for my hands and make it hard for me to keep the ribbon still. Thanks for the extra hints and the post about snaps, what an awesome idea!!

Kathy W said...

I dyed some SU white narrow grosgrain, and yes, gloves are a great idea! Haven't mastered the technique though. My river rock and blue bayou ribbon came out darker than the cardstock. Still looks great on cards, IMO. Thanks for the tutorial.

Anonymous said...

I've tried dying before but it didn't work well. Do you recommend a length of ribbon to start with? I think that I started with way too much water and so the ribbon barely coloured. So how much water to reinker do you use in the baggy?
This is the greatest idea, I love thriftyness!

mel m. m. mccarthy said...

Hi Beth,
The easiest ribbon to get even results with seems to be SU taffeta and satin ribbon (from Michael's) The skinnier the satin the better. I dyed some silver edged stuff that was a dream! :0)

I'd say just a few drops of water to lots of reinker, and let it sit in the ink. A bowl is now my method of choice. Seems to be more even. And it seems to require a darker shade of ink than you are trying to achieve. For instance, for Regal Rose ribbon use Rose red ink...Always artichoke for mellow moss...(depending on the type of ribbon. This is true for SU grosgrains (which sometimes are uneven in the dying), but SU twill will take ink really well--(giving you the exact shade or even deeper)

You can dye the ribbons that take less ink twice--for really good depth of colour & more evenness. (Let it dry once; save the reinker & dye again.) Colours that don't work well (unless you want a distressed look) are brown & black. Though I bet the twill would work well.

Hope that helps :0) Mel

Nitrile Gloves said...
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