DIY Dip-Dye Ombre Wedding Dress

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You’ve read our recent feature on what to do with your wedding dress after the big day and now we’re delighted to bring you the second part of the practical series - a gown dip-dying tutorial brought to you by Mel of Caramel & Co and photographed by Emily of Paper Tiger Press. So what are you waiting for, lovely ladies? Read on to find out how you can breathe new life into your dress so you can wear it again (and again!)

Mel: In this tutorial, I repurposed a wedding dress of one of my previous clients, Mizah. It was a full length silk chiffon gown with a detachable lace top. Mizah wanted to have her gown shortened to mid-calf and the skirt dip-dyed with an ombre effect in blush so it would no longer look “bridal”.

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Photos of Adib and Mizah on their wedding day by Zakaria of We Made These.

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Materials Required:

- Dress (in 100% silk, cotton or wool)

- Dye pigment (Dylon hot dye was used for this tutorial)

- A bucket or huge pot

- Water

- Disposable stirrer

One of the most important things to note before you dye your dress is to ensure that it’s made from natural fibres such as 100% silk, cotton or wool as these fabrics allow dye to be absorbed fully and to best effect. If you're dyeing fabrics made of polyester, nylon of acetate, the dye might not absorb well into the fabric and the colours might appear many shades lighter and even wash away as you wash the fabric.

Step 1. Bring some water to a boil. The amount of water depends on the size of the dress. For this tutorial, 7 litres of water was used. Pour the water in the pot for the first dye.

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Step 2. Mix the dye pigment into the hot water, making sure that all the pigment is evenly mixed. Tip: Do not mix the full tin of pigment into the water for lighter colours like blush and pastel tones. Instead, slowly increase the intensity as you mix and use a strip of extra fabric for a test dye first. For dark colours like black and navy, go ahead and mix the whole tin of pigment dye.

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Step 3. Add some salt to the water and mix it in evenly. Salt opens up fabric pores, allowing colours to be better absorbed.

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Step 4. For a dip-dyed ombre effect, wet the dress thoroughly before dipping it into the pot of dye.

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Step 5. Now you are ready to dye the dress. Dip it into the pot of dye. For dip-dyeing, achieving a beautiful ombre effect is the aim, therefore do not dip the whole dress into the dye, just the parts that you want to add colour to. Also because the dress is wet, osmosis will take place and the dye will be absorbed upwards into parts that are wet. Hold the dress there for between 10 to 15 mins.

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Step 6. Remove the dress from the water and hang it somewhere to allow the excess dye to drip away.

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Step 7. Repeat steps 1 to 6 with 5 litres of water and a darker dye pigment. This time, dip just the bottom part of the dress to create a deeper shade.

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Step 8. Rinse off any extra dye until the water runs clear and hang the dress to dry completely. Tip: You may want to spread out the dress layers by using your hands to separate them gently before leaving it to dry.

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The finished product...

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Photo by Adam of Bespoke Brides, Mizah's shortened and dip-dyed wedding dress by Mel, Caramel & Co.

Dip-dye ombre wedding dress inspiration...

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Dip-dyed lace wedding gown via Etsy.

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Ombre dress via Song of Style

 

Stay tuned for the next instalment in this series: A romantic anniversary shoot with Adib and Mizah (and her refreshed wedding dress!) 

 

Feeling crafty? Be sure to check out our other DIY tutorials here!

 

{We'd love to see your takes on our DIY tutorials! Share it with us on Instagram by tagging us @theweddingscoop and hashtagging #theweddingscoop.}

 

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Vendor Information
DIY Tutorial Photography: Emily, Paper Tiger Press
DIY Tutorial: Mel, Caramel & Co


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