A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Drizzle Dyed Silk Scarf

I started my journey as a dyer almost 20 years ago… hard to believe!  In the beginning, I pretty much stuck with learning how to tie-dye t-shirts with traditional patterns.  But at some point, I started to experiment with other techniques, and discovered I can make it up as I go along… freedom!  Drizzle dyeing comes under that heading, and I thought it would be fun to share it with you.

Drizzle Dyeing is a technique that uses an eyedropper or pipette to drizzle the dyes over a silk scarf that has been scrunched up on a project board covered with plastic, then left to batch for about an hour before rinsing and washing.  Here are a couple of examples of my Drizzle Dyed Habotai silk scarves:

I fell in love with the wonderful markings that are achieved using this technique.  As with any hand dyed fabric, no two come out exactly alike, making it a form of wearable art in my opinion.
Here is the process I follow to achieve these results:
I use a long, narrow project board I created from foam board, a piece of lightweight cotton, and covered with heavy duty plastic.  I have 3 colors of dyes mixed – Turquoise, Bright Green and a light mixture of Azure Blue.

I soda soaked my habotai silk scarf for 15 minutes, squeezed out the excess, laid on the project board and “scrunched” up to form the peaks/valleys.
Here, I have drizzled the Turquoise using my eyedropper.  I tend to dye sparingly on these, as the dyes migrate over the peaks & valleys, creating the patterns.  Leaving some white enhances the overall look.
Here is the scarf after I applied the other two colors.  I covered with a plastic trash bag to batch, typically for about an hour.
And here is the result.  In this case, the colors are light and soft, just right for a spring or summer accent!  Let me know if you give this a try… would love to see your results!


  1. very successful must give it a try but will not be with silk

  2. Do you use acid dyes on silk? Also, how does this technique work on cotton or linen? I'm assuming it would work pretty well as long as your fabric was wet.

  3. My question also, were you using acid dyes, did you steam it after to set the dye?

  4. I have used Procion MX dyes on the silk for almost 20 years, with either soda ash solution or vinegar as my mordant. If I use vinegar, I usually batch for a short period then place the scarf in a baggie, and nuke it for 2 1/2 minutes in 30 second intervals. However, when using soda ash solution, I just batch for an hour or more, rinse then wash in hot water with synthrapol. As for fabric type, I have not tried this on other fibers. I use an eyedropper to drizzle the dye onto the habotai silk, and it migrates well. I don't know how it would work on cotton or rayon, but it can't hurt to try! But since you would probably be dyeing a larger piece of fabric, you might want to try a small applicator bottle with a yorkie tip, such as is used for direct application dyeing. Otherwise, your hands are going to get really tired! Let me know if you try this on other fabrics... would love to see how it turns out!

    1. Thanks Judy! I'm still waiting for some warm weather to arrive before dyeing anything. You are so right about using an applicator bottle for a bigger piece of fabric. I wish I still dyed my hair, those bottles would be perfect.

  5. Hi Judy,
    Those are beautiful. I'm enjoying your posts!

    1. Thanks, Jeanne. I do love to share with others... that's how I have learned so much!


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