Marble Dyeing Silk Scarves

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“Marble” Dyeing Silk Scarves

How to Marble Dye Silk Scarves,
Don’t you just love a pretty, colorful silk scarf? Did you know that it’s actually very easy to dye your own? All you need is the right tools and some basic know-how.

There are many, many different techniques for “marble” dyeing fabric. I like to experiment with different folding and tie-dyeing methods. Also, there are many ways to set the dye so your final scarf won’t bleed. The acid dyes I use have to be heat set. This can be done by steaming your scarves, heating in the oven or with your microwave. I personally stay away from microwaving silk scarves because it’s too unpredictable (and can burn up your microwave).

To begin, you want to cover your table with plastic and put on old clothes! This stuff dyes everything. Oh yeah, rubber gloves too if you don’t want purple fingers ๐Ÿ™‚

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What You Need:

Dyeing Silk Scarves,
Dyeing Silk Scarves,

100% Silk Scarf Blanks
Jacquard Acid Dyes
White Vinegar
-Plastic Gallon Bags
-Disposable plates and cups
-Roasting Pan with steamer basket or old pie tins (disposable -don’t use for food after dyeing!)
-Latex gloves (optional)

Wash & Soak

First you want to wash your silk scarves in warm, soapy water to remove any sizing and oil from your hands.

Heat up about a cup of vinegar to very warm, but not hot temp. (Silk loses its luster if exposed to very high temps.) Soak your scarves in the vinegar for about 20 minutes.

While your scarves are soaking, mix up the dyes according to the directions on the dye container. (Make sure to read and follow the safety precautions s.a. wearing a mask to mix the dye powder!)Take your scarves out of the vinegar and squeeze out the excess liquid.


How you fold or scrunch your scarf will determine the pattern. For the first scarf, I wanted an “accordion” pattern so I folded it in half lengthwise and beginning at one end, loosely folded it back and forth.

Scarf 2, I just wadded and scrunched up in a ball.

Place each scarf on a disposable plate. Now comes the fun part…

Dyeing Silk Scarves,
Dyeing Silk Scarves,

Adding the Dye

Apply 2-3 colors of dye to each scarf – just enough to saturate the fabric. As you can see, I used a bit too much dye but that’s ok ๐Ÿ™‚

Scarf 1 colors: Sapphire Blue and Hot Fuschia
Scarf 2 colors: Emerald Green, Turquoise and Yellow Sun

Dyeing Silk Scarves,
Dyeing Silk Scarves,


Carefully lift your scarf (keeping the shape) and let some of the excess dye drain. Place in plastic bag. (Separate bags if you’re doing more than one)

Now, place the steamer basket (or old pie tins) in the bottom of your roasting pan to keep the bags out of the water. Add about an inch of water and place your plastic bags on top.

Cover the roaster. Turn burner on medium heat and once the water begins to simmer, turn down to low. Simmer for about 1 hour. Take a peek under the lid a couple of times to make sure there is steam. This is needed to set the dye.

Dyeing Silk Scarves,
Dyeing Silk Scarves,


All that’s left now is to carefully take the scarf out of the bag – It will be HOT – and rinse in warm water until the water runs clear. If the scarf continues to bleed, which happens sometimes, simply pop it in a clean bag and steam again.

Marble Dyeing Silk Scarves. Step by step dyeing tutorial by Silk Scarves make a great DIY Gift!
These dyed silk scarves make fabulous gifts! Give them for Christmas and Birthdays. They are affordable and fun to make.

Have you tried dyeing silk?

Marble Dyed Silk Scarf a tutorial
Marble Dyeing Silk Scarves. Step by step dyeing tutorial by Silk Scarves make a great DIY Gift!

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  1. love this! Thanks for the awesome diy!

  2. Lovely scarves! Colors are awesome!

  3. So pretty!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Michelle

  4. They’re so pretty! Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  5. The scarves are beautiful. I’ll add it to my list of DIY projects.

  6. That is super cool. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Very cool…I don’t wear scarves, but I wouldn’t mind trying a marble tie-dye technique on a white summer dress to see what happens. I also didn’t know you could finish this type of project in the oven.

  8. That is just gorgeous and it can make for an unforgettable present to a dear friend. I love it!

  9. These are beautiful – what a great idea for 8th grade graduation gifts (something my daughter and I can make for her friends). Thank you.

  10. That is a nice and easy way to get something very nice!

  11. GREAT technique! I’m not a scarf fan, but I think this could make for some really cool cloth napkins for my summer dining! Thanks for the idea! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Absolutely! Just make sure the type of dye you use matches the material of the napkins. Ex. acid dyes only work on protein (animal) fibers. Cotton or linen would take a different type of dye.

  12. These are gorgeous! Pinning :]

  13. These are truly beautiful! I would love to try making my own.

  14. These are so pretty! Thank you for eliminating the mystery from the dyeing process.
    In the interest of sound ecology, I wonder if there is something else we could use instead of styrofoam/disposable plates and plastic bags? Each takes in excess of 500 years to decompose in the landfill. Plus the manufacturing process is extremely toxic. I like the idea of reusing old foil pans. Perhaps ceramic plates from the thrift store? Also a great place to get a roasting pan.
    Thanks for sharing. Love Mother Earth. She feeds us.

    • I completely agree Pamela! Sounds like we are kindred spirits… Most of my dyeing equipment (roaster included) is from Goodwill, but the majority of my readers won’t go to the trouble just for one dye project.

  15. Hi I have dyed locks and other fibres. As for silk scarves, I have never dyed . After reading and looking ,yes I can do it and will give it ago. Have in the pasted dyed silk handies/hoods to add to my felting and yes knitting.

  16. I respectfully suggest that you add information re the safe handling of dyes. You should mix the dyes outside, or if inside, in a dye box. It is best to wear a mask, and to do all preparation and rinsing in a room other than your kitchen. The dye powder can rehydrate if it is rewetted, so also clean up really thoroughly. Also my concern is about heating up plastic bags when you steam them, as they “off gas” and it would be not be good to inhale. If you go to the Dharma Trading Co website I believe that they have instructions on setting up a steamer. I use a canning pan, you can put a metal collander above 1 or 2″ of water, I have found some very cool nets similiar to hair nets, that you suspend from the edges of the pan, the trick is to not let condensation drip on your items to be steamed. You wrap up your silk in plain newsprint, and you put a blanket or towel on top of the pan, and then weight it. If anyone wants more info, please email me.

    • Hi Valerie,
      Thanks for your insight and yes, I completely agree. I make sure to tell my readers to wear a mask when mixing dye and to use dedicated pots and pans for safety. I am in the process of putting together an article on safe dyeing. It’s taking longer than I had hoped (as always) but I should have it published in the next month or so.

      Sorry for the late answer… I’ve been out of town.

      Thanks again!
      Annette ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. I LOVEEEE tye-dye! SO I am obsessing over that scarf!


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