Making Gradient Yarns With Fiber Reactive Dyes

Making gradient yarns with fiber reactive dyes is easier and less time consuming compare to using the over the stove method when using acid dyes. The results using the same weight of dye powder on various type of fibers are vary however, but this can be compensated by adding more dyes and by adding sodium sulfate to the dye bath to darken the result.

You need: A few  balls of cotton (or other cellulose type of fibre such as rayon, bamboo or  jute) cake shape is fine too, reactive dyes, soda ash, hot water. Check the dye manufacturer instructions for the temperature required, some reactive dyes works on cold water too.


1. Soak the yarn the night before till it sinks at the bottom of the pot. Squeeze exes water prior the dyeing process. In this example I was using a few balls of cotton/rayon mix.


Soak yarn in water at room temperature for a few hours till all part of yarns is wet.

2. Prepare the dye bath in a plastic container. I use 5 ml reactive dyes and 20 ml soda ash, dilute together in 600 ml hot water till both dissolve.

I used 5 ml reactive dyes in dark orange color for this experiment.

3. Roll the presoaked yarn balls several time inside the dye bath till all surface is coated evenly, leave for a few hours, I leave mine for about 6 hours. Skein the yarns using the plastic umbrella winder or any other method even manually using your own hand and elbow. Wash and hang it to dry. That’s it!

 rayon/cotton yarns


Here is how the yarns look like once it dried up.


Cotton/Rayon Blend


Cotton/Rayon Blend


All of these yarns were done in the similar method shown above. Some big cakes need repeated process to achieve the desired layers of color.

NOTE: Reactive dyes can be purchased by contacting Iin Wibisono via Whatssap at 6281517018866 or visit our FB Page at Republik Rajut.

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