Over-dyeing Silk Ribbon
when in a pinch

Kimber Pekora 2007

   
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A friend of mine, Diane Tolson, was in a pinch at a recent Embroiderers' Guild of America (EGA) meeting. A needlepoint stocking that she is making requires 7 mm dark green silk ribbon. Diane went online and bought enough for the project but was very disappointed when she received it in the mail. The color was a bright green and she wanted a darker and more drab green. Sometimes the color charts on websites are hard to see the true colors of the products. I have had this problem when buying dupioni, well actually one can never have enough of the stuff so it really wasn't that big of a problem!

Diane and I decided that I would try over-dyeing the ribbon with some Ozecraft dyes. I had Forest green, Sea mist, and green. In the past I have had a lot of luck with the Ozecraft dyes, you really can't mess up with them. They are easy and the colors are beautiful and I like the sheen the ribbons have when dyed with them.

This is the silk ribbon I will be overdying.   
First I cut 3 small swatches of the ribbon.    
Using Q-tips I applied one of the green colored dyes to each swatch and waited for each to dry.   
Diane gave me a piece of floss she is using on the project to try to match the ribbon to.   
I decided that the Forest green dye was the best match to the floss. I like to paint the dyes on the ribbons, I find that the ribbons don't get as wrinkled if I paint them on. It takes a little longer but I usually do it while sitting at a table in front of the TV. In the past, I noticed that pressing the ribbons sometimes changes the color of the dye or lightens the color so in this case, since I don't want the ribbon any lighter shade of green than it is, I am going to pop them in the microwave for a few seconds to heat set them, then hang them to dry. Diane is quite happy with the new darker green shade of her ribbons. It was a quick and inexpensive fix to her problem.
Here is the final result with a swatch of the original ribbon. 

Over-dyeing is a great idea if you are working on a project and need a particular color piece of lace, fabric, ribbon or thread. No need to run out to the store when you can just dye it to the color you want. While I truly enjoy shopping for stash just as much as anyone, sometimes I would rather just spend the time stitching!

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