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Dying a Silk Scarf - EASY!


Silk Scarf

Jacquard Acid Dyes - Colors of Choice



Large Bowl

Rubber Gloves / Apron

Plastic Wrap or Disposable Plastic Plate

Paint Brush

Salt - Coarse


I prefer to use Jaquard dyes, they are easy to find and are reliable, and reasonable in price. See below for sources.

Be sure the scarf is made from silk! The dyes used are for protein based fabric only/ You can use it on cotton but the colors will not be nearly as intense.


Lay down a piece of plastic wrap that is about 10 inches wide, from the roll.

Dip the scarf into the water and squeeze out any excess back into the container.

Unfold the scarf so that it is laying as flat as possible.

Gather up the silk into peaks and valleys, just think of horizontal accordion folds to begin.  You want plenty of areas to come in contact with the plastic surface to create a unique texture. You will wind up with a bunched up ball of silk. Place the silk onto the plastic wrap keeping it bundled up. 

** If you like you can wrap the silk up with cotton string and once the string is dyed you can use it in another project.


Using your brush dip into your chosen colors and brush them onto the silk. You want the silk to be entirely saturated with color.  Any area not in contact with dye will be left white. Very carefully turn the bundle over and make sure both sides have color.

If the scarf begins to dry out before all of the dye has been applied, spray it gently with plain water to re-dampen it.

Once you have it completely covered with dye leave it on the plastic wrap and allow it to dry overnight. The image above shows a small scarf that has been left to dry, in the background.

When you open it, it is like opening a Christmas present! Each one is unique and has it's own personality.

When it is dry iron the scarf out on a towel. If any dye discharges it may be better to get it on the towel then your ironing board. The heat from the iron may help set the color a bit more and gets all the wrinkles out. So now you can admire your work!

FYI  I LOVE this project! It is quick, and easy, and you wind up with something that can look very expensive.  You can embellish the scarf with stamping, leafing or whatever you want to try!

To the right are a few of the silks I have dyed in the past few months. I also taught a class at an area library.  It was such a hit a week goes by I am not asked when I will do it again! This is perfect thing for someone that already has everything. :0)

The goal is to use the silk pieces (not scarves) in ATCs and mixed media projects.


Dick Blick

Dharma Trading Company