How to Hand-Dye Scarves Using the Scrunch Technique - dummies

How to Hand-Dye Scarves Using the Scrunch Technique

The scrunch method is an easy way to dye silk scarves and infuse them with patches of vibrant color. When you discover how easy dying scarves can be, you may never pay department store prices for your scarves again. To begin, gather these materials:

  • Four 11 x 60-inch crepe de chine silk scarf blanks

  • An unexhausted acid dye bath

  • Leftover acid dyes

  • Mason jars

  1. Place the blank scarves in a warm presoak with 1⁄2 teaspoon Synthrapol.

    Allow them to soak for at least 1 hour.

    An unexhausted dye bath with a visible amount of leftover dye will dye the scarves a pale overall color. You may add more dye to the unexhausted bath to deepen the color. Add more dye in small increments (25ml at a time). Check the dye bath, making sure the pH range is between 4 and 6. Add 1 teaspoon citric acid crystals if needed.

  2. Add the scarves to the dye bath and gradually raise the temperature of the bath to 185°F (85°C).

    Do not let the temperature go beyond this point or it will ruin the luster of the silk. Allow the scarves to simmer for 30 minutes.

  3. When the dye bath has cooled completely, rinse the scarves in warm water. Then hang them on a rack to dry.

  4. Fill a 1-pint Mason jar one-third of the way full with dye solution (approximately 200ml) and add 1 tablespoon white vinegar.

  5. Place one or two silk scarves in the jar. Stuff them in one at a time, creating random folds in the fabric as you go.


  6. Pour 100ml of a contrasting color dye (this can be another leftover dye) over the scarves in the jar.


  7. Use a plastic fork to gently press down on the scarves to make the dye travel within the folds.


  8. Steam the jar with the scarves using the steam pot with the rack for Mason jars.

    Monitor the temperature, keeping it at 185°F (85°C) for 30 minutes.

  9. When the jar has cooled, rinse the scarves in warm water.