Transform Your Silk Curtains with These Easy Dyeing Techniques

Silk is a relatively simple fabric to color. The cloth is naturally colorfast, and a fantastic quality dye will give vibrant, lovely colors that match your home’s décor.

The procedure of coloring silk curtains is similar to dyeing various silk fabrics such as dresses or shawls.


Please make assured that the liner of your silk curtains has been taken off before beginning the dying procedure.

Before dyeing all of your curtains, always perform an experiment patch to ensure that the color of the dye will emerge as you planned.

How to Dye Silk Curtains?

You can dye silk fabric, including silk curtains, in many ways. Still, there are commonly four easy-to-follow and cost-efficient ways.
The four main ways are fiber-reactive dye, acid dye, natural dye, and box dye. We will explain all of these ways in this article. You must follow some crucial steps while dying your silk curtains. 

To dye silk curtains, follow these steps:

  1. Wash and dry your curtains.
  2. Weigh down your dry curtains.
  3. Determine the amount of pigment needed.
  4. Soak your curtains before dyeing.
  5. Mix dyes and chemicals.
  6. Soak the curtains in the dye mixture.
  7. Ensure the stain is evenly coated.
  8. Remove the curtains and wash them.

Types of Equipment Required to Dye Silk Curtains

  • Silk fabric dye according to your choice.
  • Soda ash.
  • Salt.
  • A large tub or bowl.
  • Surgical gloves.
  • Surgical masks.
  • A few teaspoons.
  • A small cup
  • A stick for mixing.
  • A weighing machine
  • A thermometer.

How to Dye Silk Curtains (7 STEPS Guide)

Step 1 – wash and dry your silk curtain before dyeing.

Use soap to pre-wash and dry your garment. If it’s a pre-made product, look for stains that may hinder color absorption. To eliminate any toxins left over from the manufacturing process, rinse the silk curtains in lukewarm water. 

This may be done in your bathtub. Fill a big stainless steel or porcelain kettle halfway with water to wash one curtain. Remember that you’re dying a single curtain at a time. Adjust the heat to medium and place it on the stovetop. 

Step 2 – weigh the curtain and count how much dye is required.

Check the object to be dyed and record the total dry weights. Your dye will arrive with a proposed formula based on this overall volume, such as 3% of product weight.

It implies that to acquire the swatch color, you must subtract 3% of the overall dry weight of the garment. Calculate how much color you will require when the water warms up.

It fluctuates depending on the kind, so check the tag of the dye maker, but usually, you require 1/3 to 2/3 of an inch of dye for every ounce of fabric.

Step 3 – immerse your curtain and mix your dye.

Immerse your curtains in a tub or a bucket of hot water before dying them. Put on a facemask when opening the dye container.

Many powdery dyes are respiratory allergens, so use caution. Place your dye in the plastic container and gradually add hot water. 

Types of equipment required to Dye Silk Curtains

Make sure the water isn’t boiling. Blend the dye until it becomes a slurry, then a fluid. If any color particles remain insoluble, strain the liquid over muslin.

Discarding the facemask when the paint has been absorbed, and the cover has been replaced on your container is okay.

Step 4 – put your curtain and water into the dye mixture and heat.

Fill the dye bowl with sufficient water to enable your object to swim freely. Warm the water to between 85 and 100 degrees Celsius.

If you don’t own a thermostat, look for it right before the water boils, when little pops emerge on the bottom of the pot but aren’t nearly popping at the top. 

Step 5 – include the dye activator and dye mix.

Add 3-9 teaspoons of salt per 450g of cloth using fiber-reactive colors. More color can use more for brighter hues. Then, for every 450g of material, add 1/4 cup of vinegar.

You may replace one tablespoon of citric acid with vinegar. To avoid spilling straight on the cloth, move it to the edge using grips or a spatula. Thoroughly combine. 

Next, similarly add the cup of color, pulling the cloth to the side to prevent immediately spilling it—this aids in avoiding black smudges. Completely combine.

To ensure complete coverage, stir steamy water in your dye container and add it to the dyeing process.

Step 6 – stir well and switch off the heat.

Maintain a constant heat and continuously stir till the dye has been incorporated. If you did your arithmetic correctly, the water in the dye bath would be transparent.

This procedure is referred to as the emission. Please switch off the heat when the dye has run out, or even when it hasn’t, and the desired shade is still there.

Step 7 – take the curtain out and wash it.

Take your object out of the dye bath. It should be washed in lukewarm and then ice water. Ensure the water flows clean after washing it with liquid soap.

Based on the fabric, you may want to follow the in-sink rinsing with a washing process or a tumble loop, but the remainder is up to you. Take pleasure in your freshly colored fabric.

4 Common Ways to Dye Silk Fabric 

Fiber reactive dye

These dyes are designed for a particular type of fabric, but in some situations, they can be applied to silk.

Fiber-reactive pigments are mainly used on cellulose fibers, including plant-based materials such as linen, cotton, bamboo, flax, and rayon. Utilizing fiber-reactive pigments with silk is feasible, but you must consider specific changes.

Acid dye 

Acid dyes are the most effective and dependable option for coloring silk. They are effective on any protein fiber, like any animal fiber, such as wool, fleece, cashmere, silk, mohair, and even feathers. 

Even though it is not strictly a protein fiber, nylon may be colored using acid dyes. When coupled with an activation such as citric acid or vinegar, this dye forms a chemical link with the fiber, resulting in a brilliant, lasting color on your cloth.

Watch this video to learn more silk dyeing techniques in detail:

Natural dye

Natural dyeing may be an excellent way to merge a love of horticulture with stitching and a beautiful method to add sustainable color to any natural fabric, including silk. A wide range of natural colorants, additives, and effects are available. 

So, if you’re a novice to natural dyes, the best way to get started is to experiment. We would not suggest this procedure if you are searching for a particular hue, but if you are okay with a color spectrum and want to play with the process. 

Box dye

Home dyeing options include Dylon, Rit, and Tulip if you don’t want to invest in large-dye equipment. They’re suitable for one-time jobs where you don’t care about the particular color you’re dying of.

They are less dependable and discolored and bleed more quickly in the wash. Particular colors can be a pain and useful in specific instances.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

Which dye is most appropriate for silk fabric?

Acid dyes are commonly employed in the dyeing of silk. This kind of colorant may produce a broad spectrum of vibrant colors. These colors are sodium compounds of organic acids, primarily sulfonate acid, used in acidic environments.

Can you use Rit dye on silk fabric?

Yes! Silk fabric can use Rit All-Purpose Dye to color: Organic fiber washing fabrics include cotton, linen, cashmere, silk, ramie, and multimodal. Artificial fiber-containing washable materials, such as nylon, polyester, and rayon.

How to retain the dye in silk fabric?

Depending on the manufacturer, you can cure the silk dyes into the silk by steaming or using a liquid sealer. If you utilize the former, make sure to follow the instructions on the packaging.

A heated iron is used to set silk paints. It is the simplest way of binding and is commonly used with silk dyes.


Silk fabric, including silk curtains, can be dyed in various ways. Still, four simple and cost-effective methods are the most frequent. The four primary methods are fiber-reactive, acid, natural, and box dye.

While coloring your silk curtains, you must take certain precautions.