How to dye a silk scarf in your microwave

Written by sarah emerald
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How to dye a silk scarf in your microwave
Use a microwave to permanently dye a silk scarf (Zedcor Wholly Owned/ Images)

You can use your home microwave to set the dye in a silk scarf. Use a blank white scarf specifically designed for dyeing, or give an old silk scarf a colourful makeover. As long as your scarf is 100 per cent silk, it can be dyed using a microwave. Silk requires an acid-based dye for best results; these can be found in the fabric painting section of a craft store or a speciality fibre shop.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Plastic or rubber gloves
  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Glass or ceramic bowl
  • Acid dye for fabric
  • Cling film
  • Microwave safe bowl

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  1. 1

    Combine equal amounts of vinegar and water in a glass bowl. A cup of each is enough for most scarves.

  2. 2

    Immerse the scarf in the solution and soak for 10 minutes.

  3. 3

    Remove the scarf and dump the solution down the drain.

  4. 4

    Put on gloves. Mix the dye with water according to the manufacturer's directions. Some require you to add vinegar while others do not.

  5. 5

    Place the wet scarf in a microwave safe dish. Pour the dye over the scarf and swirl to colour the scarf completely. There may be leftover dye in the dish, depending on the amount you used; this will not affect the finished scarf.

  6. 6

    Cover the dish with cling film, then microwave for five minutes on high. Remove the dish, but let the scarf cool completely before uncovering.

  7. 7

    Rinse the scarf in the sink to remove any leftover dye. Stop rinsing when the water runs clear. Press gently to remove excess water and air dry.

Tips and warnings

  • These directions will work for dyeing other silk items as well; try dyeing silk shawls, handkerchiefs and yarn using the same method.
  • Rit and Jacquard are two brands of acid dyes that work on silk.
  • Wear old clothing when dyeing silk; the dye will stain other items, too.
  • Don't reuse a cooking dish for food once you have used it for fabric dye.
  • Don't use aluminium or copper utensils with acid dye, they will discolour the dye.

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