Ribbon Dyeing

by Amy Rysavy

Custom dye ribbon or fibers to coordinate with your project.

Supplies

  • White grosgrain ribbon

  • Dye-based ink refill (Bashful Blue)

  • Spray bottle filled with water

  • Small container

  • Gloves

  • Paper towel

  • Scissors

  • Hairdryer

Step-by-Step

  1. Step 1

    Cut desired length of ribbon and wrap it around your fingers. 2 yards is a manageable amount.

    Set aside.

  2. Step 2

    Spray water into a small container. For this amount of ribbon, spray about 15 times.

    It's best to start with a small amount and add more as needed.

  3. Step 3

    Add about 10 drops of reinker. The mixture will be much darker than the finished product.

    Note: If your ribbon dries lighter than expected, you can always re-dye using more reinker drops.

  4. Step 4

    This is where things get messy. You will want to put your gloves on, then place the ribbon in the container.

  5. Step 5

    Press the ribbon into the mix until fully saturated.

    Note: If the ribbon has absorbed all of the mixture, and is still white, pull the ribbon out and add more water and reinker. Then replace the ribbon and repeat this step.

  6. Step 6

    Remove the ribbon and place it on a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture.

  7. Step 7

    Unwind the ribbon and blot with the paper towel to speed the drying process.

    To heat set the dye and finish drying the ribbon, use a hairdryer on a high heat setting. It will only take a minute or two.

    If you hold the ribbon in your hand during this step, keep the hairdryer moving constantly to avoid burns.

    Note: If you're dyeing a small [say 6 inches] amount of ribbon, you can use a heat tool for this step. Be sure to hold the ribbon with tweezers to avoid burning your fingers!

  8. Step 8

    Custom dyed ribbon.

  9. Step 9

    Finished project.

Variations

    Alternative Methods
    Other common methods for coloring ribbon include sponging ink onto grosgrain, using a marker, or pressing it into an ink pad. These all work, but don't seem to hold their color as well as the re-inker/water method. Six months after dyeing, I have ribbon that hasn't faded a bit!

Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Ribbon Dyeing. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

Do you know if this will work with the satin ribbon? LOVE this idea, since SU doesn't have all of the color families with matching ribbon!
cshattles  |  Sat Jun 14, 2008 at 2:35 AM
Great tutorial! I will have to try this! Thanks!
Stephanie  |  Thu May 21, 2009 at 8:41 AM
I love this tutorial. I used this on satin ribbon with the new in-colors and they turned out fabulous. I just used my hair dryer to dry the ribbon and to set the ink. Thanks for showing this.
Jeannette  |  Mon Jul 6, 2009 at 2:29 AM
hi...
this is the tutorial i needed today!!

I have a question...i grosgrain ribbon the only one you should attempt to dye.

i have some white organza that i need to turn into another color.

thanks again for sharing
toni santanello  |  Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 12:20 PM
Great info - I need to dye some flowers from the pretties kit, so will be using this method- thanks for the help, Jo
Jo  |  Sat Nov 14, 2009 at 6:32 PM
I just tried this method, and the reinker is not desolving in the water, leaving my project blotchy. Any suggestions??
Jessica S  |  Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 8:17 AM

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