“Ombre” is the French word for shade or shadow. In textiles, it’s a piece of fabric that has been woven or dyed so that the color graduates from faint to dark along the length of the piece. Applied with citrus hues to feather-weight chiffon scarves, ombre is summery and breezy. Or flat-woven wool scarves could be dyed warm autumn tones when the weather turns.

I buy my dyes and dyeables at Dharma Trading Company. They ship quickly, and I can make a dozen scarves for about $30.

What you need:

acid dye or other dye for natural fabrics

blank, white silk chiffon scarf (I chose a 11 x 60″ size)

glass bowl

white vinegar

vinyl gloves

What to do:

1. Put on vinyl gloves and mix the dye bath according to the directions on the package. For the Jacquard acid dyes, I heated 4 cups of water and 1 1/2 teaspoon of white vinegar in a glass bowl in the microwave.

2. For the Jacquard acid dyes, I then added 1/2 teaspoon of the dye powder and allowed it to fully dissolve.

3. Wet the blank scarf to allow the dye to distribute more evenly. With the scarf doubled in half, dip the bottom ends into the dye bath and submerge 1/4 to 1/3 of the scarf. Depending on the intensity of color you desire, allow the scarf to sit in the bath for 2-5 minutes.

4. Submerge more of the scarf (1/2 to 2/3) in the dye bath. Allow to steep another 2-5 minutes.

5. Dip more of the scarf into the bath. For the palest wash of color in the middle section of the scarf, do not fully submerge. Remove the scarf from the bath and squeeze dye from the ends of the scarf to the middle to just barely tint the middle section. Rinse in warm water until it runs clear. Hang the scarf to dry.

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