Introduction: Easy Artistic Dye Technique Using Microwave Oven

About: Fiber mad woman living in the mountains. Creativity is the ultimate rebellion.Trying to Roller Derby for my life. I'm into sericulture and hypertufa. Love fiber arts, sewing, quilting, cooking, writing. Some o…

Fast,  fun, beautiful, creative, easy, easy,easy dye project to use on any type of silk. Use your microwave and in a matter of minutes have artistic looking, homemade, ready to wear clothes or accessories!

Dye silk clothing, scarves, handkerchiefs, skein silk, yardage, silk socks or undergarments, all, this fast, easy way. It turns out beautiful every time!

All you need is simple equipment you probably already have in your kitchen and some silk.

Here I've used  the powdered drink mix as dyes. They work well. Have strong, vibrant colors. Are inexpensive to use. Are readily available. Safe to use in your own kitchen cookware. Require no special additions or equipment. Easter egg dyes or liquid food coloring can also be used.

Step 1: Keep It Simple

Gather the supplies
  • Microwave safe bowl
  • Colander or strainer
  • Wooden skewer
  • Rubber gloves (optional)
  • Dye-unsweetened powdered drink mix or Easter egg dye or food coloring
  • Microwave
  • Drying rack
  • Silk
Wet the silk
Choose which dye technique
If using tie-dye, wet silk, fold & tie as desired.
Stage the colors you want to use
Bowl of hot water to microwave

Step 2: The Dye Techniques

There's more than one way to do this! Pick which one suits what you want make and go for it!

1. Lay out your soaking wet silk on enough clear plastic wrap to roll it all the way up in. Sprinkle powdered drink mix on silk. The wet fabric causes the color to spread and give neat color saturation variations. Use more than one color. Roll silk in plastic wrap making a sausage, loosely twisting the ends. Place into a large microwave safe bowl.

2. Or place wet silk directly in water that the drink mix has been dissolved in, tied, or not, as you desire, in effect.

Fill the bowl with enough hot dye water to cover silk. Use a skewer to submerge. Top with microwave safe saucer to hold fiber in dye bath, if need be.

Step 3: The Dye Process

  • Microwave in 1 minute intervals checking in between each minute for 5-7 minutes depending on size of project. You'll be able to tell when it's done by looking at it. You can see the fiber has taken up most of the dye. It will still take up dye as it cools until the water is almost clear.
  • Cool on counter. When cooled to room temperature, unroll plastic, if used, and run silk under warm to cold water, briefly, to rinse. Drain.
  • Dry on hangers or a drying rack, out of the direct sun. If you don't want to wait for them to hang dry, carefully iron with a hot iron.
  • Admire your work!

Step 4: Easier Than Pie

Now see? So beautiful! That couldn't be any easier! Next thing you know it's done! You will be so pleased with the results.

You can use this method for any type of silk garment, to dye raw silk cocoons, silk scraps, silk hankies, play silks, scarves, socks, undergarments, blouses, or anything that can fit in the microwave. It's so easy & so very lovely.

Experiment & have fun! The results are wonderful and everyone will be amazed if you tell them it is dyed with drink mix powder in the microwave!

It works so well and so fast it's almost like cheating! But it's not! It's super fun and once you do it you'll want to make more and more.

Kids love the playsilks, They quickly become superhero capes, sarongs, table cloths, head wraps, veils, baby wraps-the creativity is vast!
The handkerchiefs make great gifts and look very nice in the front pocket of a blouse or dress shirt.
Everyone loves the scarves.
Silk also has natural sunscreen properties. And keeps you warm if it's cold or cool if it's warm.

Silk really is the fiber of Emperors & Empresses! The secret of the origins of this beautiful fiber were protected for many years. Legend has it that mulberry seeds and silkworm eggs were smuggled out of China in the hollow of a bamboo cane.

Simple beauty is simply beautiful!

Print & Dye Contest

Second Prize in the
Print & Dye Contest