Have fun creating naturally dyed napkins to adorn your Spring table!
This DIY Dip Dyed Napkins tutorial is designed using our ANTIQUE WHITE hand-stitched cotton napkins, and the onion skin dye bath from our previous tutorial on Dyeing with onion skins.
The soft and subtle ANTIQUE WHITE color of our napkins and table linens is created from gull nuts (also called oak gulls), which is naturally high in tannins. Tannins act as a mordant, which helps color “fix” color to the fabric. You can use our ANTIQUE WHITE materials as a base and over-dye it to create a new solid hue or dip-dye for more variation.
Here we will utilize our left-over onion skin dye bath from our DIY ribbon Dyeing, but you can use many other food items to dye a variety of colors, such as avocado pits and skins, turmeric, berries, tea, coffee grounds, beets, pomegranates, and many, many, more.
Before you begin, have your prepared dye bath at a cool-to-the-touch temperature. See the previous tutorial HERE on preparing your onion skin dye bath.
1. Begin by preparing your material. Add the napkins to a bowl and fill with warm tap water to cover.
2. Let the material set in the water for about 1 hour. This allows the fibers to open and allow for the color to absorb into the material.
3. Wring out excess water and decide how you would like your ombre to appear. Here, I dipped the napkins on an angle, but you can dip bottom-to-top to have a more even coloring.
4. Your dye bath should be cool-to-the-touch as you make the first dip. Squeeze the material in the dye bath and let it soak up the color to your desired height on the napkin. As you lift the material out, squeeze out excess, so that the material is not dripping.
5. Add the material back into the dyebath, leaving out a few inches of the color. Carefully, and safely rest the top part of the material on a heat-safe bowl or pot while the bottom part cooks in the dye bath. Turn heat on and bring the dye bath to a high simmer. Cook the material in the dye bath until the desired color is achieved. Turn off heat and let soak for 30mins - overnight.