Brushes at the ready! This is how to watercolour your favourite blouse

Catwalk model in a sleeveless blouse with a painted hand dye effect.
  • It’s so easy to achieve a beautiful watercolour look with the use of DYLON Hand Dye
  • Give your blouse a catwalk quality by embellishing it with a watercolour design
  • Use bold contrasts or complimentary colours in a whimsical, feathered application to take a blouse from ordinary to extraordinary

Sometimes the most unlikely of pairings are sensational together. Paintbrushes and blouses, for instance. Yet, when you really think about it, the ethereal, soft, feathered whimsy of watercolour art and the structural, crisp flow of a white cotton blouse just make sense.

What could be more beautiful than a watercolour design on a blouse? It’s a statement piece straight off the runways. And, you’re in luck, with the help of DYLON Hand Dye it actually isn’t very hard to create. Here’s how:

Catwalk model in a red, blue and purple hand dyed maxi dress.
Catwalk model in a hand dyed two-piece white, beige and forest green pyjama suit.

Prepare yourself

Before you start:

  1. Secure your working area with dye -resistant protection like plastic sheets and ensure you have paper towels and rubber gloves at the ready.
  2. Prepare test strips of fabric, as close in type and colour as possible to the fabric you are planning to dye.
  3. Trial the dyes, techniques and design you’ve chosen on your test piece of fabric. Take particular note of how the colours behave, how much they feather and how well they blend with each other. If you have the time, rinse, wash and dry the fabric to see how the dye behaves.
  4. Wash the clothing you intend to use in warm water without conditioner.

How to watercolour dye a blouse

What you need:

  • DYLON Hand Dye/s
  • Cups for dye
  • Paint brushes
  • Bowl
  • A blouse
  • Cling film

What to do:

  1. Dissolve a packet of DYLON Hand Dye in 500ml of warm water, for every colour that you would like to use and fill a bowl with warm water
  2. Lay out your blouse and isolate the area that you want to dye.Remember, the dye will travel onto any unprotected fabric beneath the top layer.
  3. Dip the paintbrush in the dye and make a small point or dash on your blouse.
  4. Dip the paintbrush in the water then paint over the initial point, applying varying strokes. Allow the dye to be darker in some parts and lighter in others. The unpredictable bleeding and feathering is what gives watercolour its beauty, so try not to concern yourself too much with trying to control it.
  5. Use other brushes and dyes to mix colours, patterns and layers.
  6. Once you’re happy with the result, wrap the dyed area in cling film, careful not to scrunch it. Allow it to sit for at least 12 hours.
  7. Pull the cling film off and rinse the blouse under cold water.
  8. Finally wash the blouse in warm water with detergent before allowing it to completely dry again.

More watercolour inspiration

  • Why stop at the blouse? Many other items would look great given a watercolour treatment. T-shirts, skirts, blazers, canvas shoes and even sport jumpers could do with a sexy watercolour pick-me-up.
  • Play with colour – be bold and use contrasting or complementing colours like DYLON Hand Dye in Navy Blue, Peony Pink and Fresh Orange or Olive Green, Sandy Beige and Sunflower Yellow.
  • Details, details – Rather than paint the entire surface, concentrate only on one area of the item you’re painting, like the collar or cuff of a blouse, a t-shirt pocket or just the heel of a shoe.
  • Homewares – Don’t withhold the beauty of watercolour dyeing from your home textiles. Cushions, throws, blankets and even table runners and napkins could be embellished with a stroke or two of the paintbrush.