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
- Glass or ceramic bowl
- Acid dye for fabric
- Cling film
- Microwave safe bowl
Combine equal amounts of vinegar and water in a glass bowl. A cup of each is enough for most scarves.
Immerse the scarf in the solution and soak for 10 minutes.
Remove the scarf and dump the solution down the drain.
Put on gloves. Mix the dye with water according to the manufacturer's directions. Some require you to add vinegar while others do not.
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.
Cover the dish with cling film, then microwave for five minutes on high. Remove the dish, but let the scarf cool completely before uncovering.
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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