Lynnis' Edge-Dyeing Technique

Barbara Blankenship 2008

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If you missed the article on Lynnis and her incredible work, please see Barbara's article Another Talented Friend:  Lynnis Burt, AKA Big Foot, also in this issue. 

Preparing Ribbon:

  1. Cut off approximately 1- yards of whatever size ribbon you wish to dye.
  2. Ribbon must be ironed.
  3. Take an orange stick with a tapered end. (Orange sticks are nail care accessories for cuticle care.) Roll the ribbon around the stick keeping the edges as even as possible until yardage is rolled into a circle (like a bobbin).
  4. Slide the ribbon off and secure the roll with a twist tie, a piece of thread, etc. If you are in a hurry you can even use sewing tweezers with a long pointed end.

Preparing Dye:

Lynnis has used the Ranger Dyes you may want to experiment with others you already have. Adjust your dye preparation accordingly.

  1. Use a small palette tray and experiment with how the dye comes out of the bottle. Its a paste and it comes out in a tiny string.
  2. Make a circle of approximately 7mm. (Amount can vary depending on light or darkness you wish to achieve.
  3. Add an equal part of the Ranger Heat Set Medium.
  4. Mix the two together thoroughly in a paste form.
  5. Add water and dilute to color strength, stirring until well mixed. Make a light and dark shade in two separate holders in your palette.
  6. Use a three inch strip of ribbon to experiment until you reach the desired shade you want.


  1. Hold the bobbin of ribbon with the pair of tweezers. Remove the twist tie or thread. Do not wet the ribbon.
  2. Dip one side of the dry ribbon into the palette section with the light shade. Pick up and invert the bobbin. Notice how the dye is wicking through.
  3. To achieve the edge-dyed effect carefully insert the opposite edge of the bobbin into the darker shade. Caution: the darker shade wicks faster because the ribbon is now wet. You will want to dip it quickly and pick up immediately. If you want the dark shade predominate on the top edge do not invert.
  4. Unroll the ribbon completely, and circle on a microwave safe plate with a paper towel on the bottom. Microwave on high for 45 seconds. If not dry after this time continue to microwave in 20-second increments until dry.

Pictured here are some of the ribbons Lynnis dyed.


Ranger Dye and Heat Set Medium: 


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