Lately I’ve been seeing such pretty dip-dyed sweaters and skirts that I knew I had to give dip-dyeing another go. So I hunted down a thrift-store sweater and some dye and got to work.
1. Philip Lim via Park and Cube 2. Tuula 3. Anthropologie 4. Anthropologie 5. Pinterest
The neighbors must have thought I was dabbling in witchcraft when I was wandering around the yard wearing a giant black graduation gown as a smock and stirring a vat of colored liquid, but it was worth it for the end result.
Here’s how to
put on your own Harry Potter production dip-dye your own sweater.
A light-colored sweater to dye, made of natural fibers (mine is 100% cotton)
Packet of dye (I used RIT in navy)
Measuring spoons and cups
1. You’ll want to follow the instructions on your specific dye, but if you’re using powdered RIT dye on a cotton sweater in addition to the dye start with salt, detergent, measuring devices, and a large container wide enough for the sweater. Fill the container with steaming hot water.
2. For one packet of dye, add a cup of salt and a tablespoon of detergent to the water and stir well. Fill up a large bowl or measuring cup with 2 cups of very hot water and add the dye. Stir to dissolve.
3. Add 1/2 cup of the dye to the water and stir to distribute evenly. (For each gradation of color you’re going to add another 1/2 cup of the dye.)
4. Pin the sleeves to the side of the sweater and clip your sweater upside down on a hanger, then wet it thoroughly with with hot water. Varying the time depending on how dark you want the first layer of color, quickly dip the whole sweater into the dye bath. (You’ll notice that my sweater is sagging in the middle. Either hold up the center with your hand when you dip it, or affix it to the hanger with more clips so that you get straight lines of color.)
5. Add another 1/2 cup of dye, stir and dip again, submerging only about 3/4 of the sweater this time.
6. Repeat, adding 1/2 cup of dye, stirring, and dipping approximately 1/3 and then 1/6 of the sweater. You’ll probably want to leave the sweater in the dye for a minute or so each time.
7. Leaving the sweater upside-down, rinse thoroughly with a hose until the water runs clear.
8. Gently squeeze out the water and allow to drip dry overnight, then lay flat to dry out the rest of the way if necessary.