Thursday, April 02, 2015

TUTORIAL: How to Dye Eggs with Silk

It's that time of year, Easter in the Christian world. Happy Easter to those that celebrate from my egg laden table to yours! At my house, like most creative activities, dying Easter eggs is an art, we try new techniques each year.

This year, this video tutorial on how to dye eggs with silk scarves was shared by a few of my facebook friends. I thought, heck, that looks easy and lovely, I will give it a try. I found the instructions a little sparse, so I turned to Martha to fill in the blanks.

-eggs (as few or many as you want, my scarf was enough for 9 and and I didn't want to do a 2nd batch)
-silk scarf, neckties, boxers, shirts, fabric, etc. (must be 100% silk) mine was $2.99 at Goodwill. (Tip: look for small scale prints, you will enjoy the tiny details on your egss, or mix and match, I wouldn't go much larger than the print I have featured or you will get mostly solid eggs).
-scissors-white fabric (anything, old sheet, cotton muslin, old tablecloth etc.)
-twist ties (plastic coated if you have them otherwise paper coated works, I just found they dissolved in the water and were harder to remove).
-3 tablespoons white vinegar-water
-non-reactive pot (I used metal successfully, though Martha suggests glass or enamel and the video uses enamel)
-vegetable oil (optional - to give shine to finished eggs)

Step 1:
Thrift, raid your closet or purchase new, something made of silk. You will be cutting it into pieces and the dye will bleed in the hot water so make sure it is something you are willing to part with. Make sure whatever you use is 100% silk as they dye process used in dying natural fibers such as silk is what allows the dye to transfer to your know you your fancy clothes need to be washed in cold water? This is why, they are not color fast in hot water.

Step 2:
Cut your silk into 7" x 7" squares. Note: many silks have rich enough dye that you can reuse them 2-5 times (depending on lots of factors) to dye eggs. Cut your white fabric into 7" x 7" squares.

Step 3: 
Wrap your eggs tightly with the silk squares. The video shows scrunching them around a broad side, I did mine scrunching them at the bottom (broader end) because I thought it would yield a better transfer. You can experiment. This is an art, not a science so have fun. The imperfections add to the beauty. Secure with a twist tie.

Step 4:
Wrap the silk in the white fabric. Make sure you tuck the tails inside as this will limit how much dye seeps into the water and will give you cleaner color and print transfers.

Step 5:

Place the wrapped eggs into the pot, fill with enough water so that the eggs are fully submerged. Don't pack too tightly with eggs as you want room for the water to circulate around the eggs to aid in the dye transfer. Add 3 tablespoons white vinegar.

Step 6:
Put pot on stove on high. Bring to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes. Remove egg packets from water, leave wrapped to cool.

Step 7:

Once the wrapped eggs are cooled, remove the wrappings. Remember, you can reuse this silk 2-5 times. With the white fabric, use your best judgement, if it soaked in a lot of dye, maybe cut fresh pieces next time, if only a little dye was absorbed

Step 8: Optional
If you want a shiny finish to the eggs, lightly brush them with vegetable oil. Once you let the oil dry a little you can gently rub off the excess with a dish towel.


(Disclaimer, there are 2 blown eggs mixed in to fill the display from mom's adventures in Ukranian egg decorating from a few years ago (they are holding up nicely!))

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