Dye/paint a gradient?

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#1 kenshin-chan64 on 1 year ago

I'm having reservations about what to use to get a gradient on a cravat, as I'm not used to the material.
I'm doing Zazu from Lion King and felt that a cravat would be a good place to have the coloring from his beak be represented ([URL="https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/disney/images/f/f0/Zazu_TLG.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20160209061836"]reference[/URL])
I got a medium yellow colored cravat whose material says "100% microfiber", but it looks and feels like your basic silky tie. To achieve the orange gradient around the edges, should I lightly paint on dye? Should I mix the powdered dye with less water to be thicker and easier to control? Or should I water down some kind of acrylic or fabric paint?
I dont want it to look chunky, but also want to have at least some kind of control over where the gradient goes.

Thank you in advance for any help, even if it's a "dont use ____ material/method"

#2 Penlowe on 1 year ago

While the physical act will be plenty easy as it's a reasonably small garment, the material it's made from couldn't be harder to dye :/

My advice is: return that one and buy one of these (link below) with the two colors of dye that you need. You can actually put the two dye baths side by side with the fabric draped into both and let the dye creep up to meet on it's own.

#3 kenshin-chan64 on 1 year ago

Augh nooo! I have NEVER had any luck with dying things and inevitably something always goes wrong. I've come to the conclusion that I am cursed and am not meant to dye anything ever. XD

When you say the fabric is difficult to dye, do you mean it will come out splotchy, not hold the dye, something else? I'm on a bit of a time crunch so I want to use what I already have unless it absolutely will not work (in which case I'll just leave the material as is in its golden color, as that would be better than nothing or a hot mess).
I do love your advice though for dip dying the scarf, and will look into doing that in the future to 'upgrade' the cosplay. But alas for now, I must work with what I have got.

#4 lunaflora on 1 year ago

microfiber is a synthetic fiber, which is difficult to dye since they usually require high heat and don't take dye as easily. There is a product called Dye-na-Flow which is a very liquid fabric paint, which you heat set with an iron after it's dried. What I would do is wet the entire cravat, take a brush and just apply the dye-na-flow just to the edges, and let it bleed to the center, adding more water if you need it to blend more. If you've ever done watercolor, it's the same principle.

#5 Penlowe on 1 year ago

Yeah, not only is it a synthetic fiber, as the name indicates its very fine, and very tightly woven.

#6 kenshin-chan64 on 1 year ago

Thank you both of you for your advice and suggestions! I think I'll see if my local craft store has that Dye-Na-Flow paint you mentioned, Lunaflora, as that sounds like a decent compromise to my current situation until I can try the silk scarf dying that Penlowe suggested.

#7 lunaflora on 1 year ago

Actually, I thought maybe you can use the dye you already have (assuming it can dye synthetic fibers) is to use the microwave. However, I do not know if the heat will be too much as to melt/damage the cravat. But, anyways, using the same technique I described before, make sure the cravat is thoroughly damp with water, and mix up some of the dye you have and use that instead of the Dye-na-Flow. You microwave it for one or two minutes to set the dye.

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