Over-Dyeing Silk Ribbon with Easter Egg Dyes

Stephanie Novatski 2005

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I recently acquired via eBay a large quantity of solid color 7 mm ribbon. Many of the cards were duplicate colors and I felt these duplicate colors would be good to experiment with using Easter Egg Dyes.

I mixed the colors of the dyes using a package available widely purchased after Easter in a large discount department store for half price. ($.36!). I used a paper cup that I cut down so the sides were about 1" above the dye mixture level. I then took the ribbons and cut them into 2-3 yard pieces and wrapped them into small 6" skeins using my fingers. Some I sprayed with water, some I left dry. I then picked two colors and put one end of the ribbon in color 1 and the other end in color 2. On the dry ribbon, the original ribbon color remained in the section not immersed in the dye. On the wet ribbons, the dye was wicked up the part of ribbon not in the dye and blended, making a third color. I think this is called the "tea-cup" method.

I loved the results! I started with all shades of ribbon-light, medium, and dark pink, lavender, pale blue, medium blue, peach, gold-any light to medium color works best.

Some of my favorite color combo results were:

Start color: Pale peach ribbon
Dipped in pink and yellow
Dipped in blue and purple  
Start color: Pale Blue
Dipped in Pink and purple
Dipped in Green and Yellow  
Start Color: Pink
Dipped in Orange and Yellow
Dipped in Red and Orange
Dipped in Purple and Blue 
Start Color: Medium Purple
Dipped in Pink and Red
Dipped in Blue and Pink
Dipped in Red and Blue 

The picture below shows examples of the original colors and some of the results. The time you leave the ribbon in the dye also will influence the final results-the longer the ribbon is in the dye bath, the darker the colors.

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