Can Silk Be Dyed?

I have a beautiful navy silk top. I think it is Indian silk (if there is such a thing) it is very light and flowy, not shiny though. My friend, thinking she was doing me a favor, decided to machine wash it (arrhh!) so as you can imagine most of the color has come out of it. I want to re-dye it back to navy (or as close as). But the dyes I have found say that you can’t use them on ‘dry-clean’ only fabrics. What actually happens if you dye a ‘dry-clean’ only fabric – do you have any suggestions on how I can save my top?
Hi Kate,
Dyeing is a water-based process, and since the blouse has already been washed, it survived water pretty well. So at this point you don’t need to be concerned about “dry clean only.”

Silk can be dyed with both the reactive dyes and the acid dyes available at www.dharmatrading.com or www.prochemical.com. Both sites have instructions. You may find the acid dyes easier. They require only white vinegar, but do require very hot water, either in the washer or on top of the stove (especially for a dark color like navy). You’ll need to have a dedicated stainless or chip-free enamel pot for stove top work.
Please read my article on Fabric Dyeing 101 for basic information, and keep in mind that all dyeing is an experiment!!

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