Dip Dyed Ombre Curtains

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With just one satchet of dye you can create subtle color effects—perfect for a cafe curtain. If you’re dyeing an existing curtain with a dye suitable for natural fabrics, check the fiber content of your curtain before embarking on the dyeing process. Alternatively, you can make your own curtain from cotton muslin. Make sure you sew it with 100% cotton thread so that both the fabric and the thread take up the color.
You will need:
- Cotton curtain
- Fabric detergent
- Bamboo, wooden, or plastic pole
- Measuring cup
- Salt, if needed (check instructions on dye package)
- Cold-water fabric dye
- Plastic tub or other suitable container
- Rubber gloves
- Metal, plastic, or old wooden spoon

Step 1

Wash the curtain and leave it damp. Slip a pole into the casing at the top of the curtain.

Step 2

Roll the fabric around the pole, leaving the bottom section free—about a quarter of the total length of the curtain.

Step 3

Prepare the dye according to the manufacturer’s instructions and pour it in the tub. Wearing rubber gloves, submerge the bottom section of the curtain in the dye bath for 20 minutes, resting the pole across the rim of the tub. Stir the dye gently from time to time to ensure even coverage.

Step 4

After 20 minutes, unroll another length of the curtain so that about one-third is submerged in the dye. Soak for another 20 minutes, then unroll a little more, so that about three-quarters of the curtain is in the dye. Soak for another 20 minutes.

Step 5

Remove the curtain from the dye and remove the pole. Rinse the curtain thoroughly in cold water, then wash in hot water and detergent, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Iron before hanging.

Step 6

This ombre curtain tutorial is excerpted with permission from "Craft: Techniques & Projects" from DK Publishing.

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