How to tame orange?
  • Hi. I recently purchased a bolt of 100% cotton fabric on sale. I couldn't resist at 50 cents a yard. The problem is it is bright yellow-orange. Almost neon. That's probably why no one had purchased it. It's just a little too in-your-face. What can I use to tame it a little bit? Tan? Light gray? I'd prefer it be more neutral rather than look like I'm working on a road construction crew if I make a garment out of it. I already wear a lot of brown so it would be nice to have something orangy without being that dark.
  • You really want a nice clean blue to tamp it down. Turquoise procion or Idye will work. Idye might be the move in the washing machine. You don't use a "full" amount of dye. You are looking to "tone" this color with about 5%-10% of the normal amount of dye. So if 14 grams is the full dose(amount in a procion bottle or Idye packet) you really want to use a lot less.

    By dyeing with the complimentary color we "knock" the color down and lose some brightness and make it deeper.

    If it super bright and you need it changed quite a bit use 1.4 grams or 10% for just kicking down a notch use .7 grams of dye.

    For the 10% you can use just under a teaspoon of dye per lb of fabric, for 5% you should use just under 1.2 a teaspoon of dye.

    Do a test first before you totally go for it and add a little more or use a little less depending on what you want you final result to be.

    Use these colors to knock down bright colors

    red-Green
    Blue-orange
    Yellow-violet

    Notice these are the colors you mix when you want brown. You are neutralizing the color(removing vibrancy) and are thus dulling them down. This is muting the color. When you tone like this you are dulling the color, but it also gets deeper and more serious.
  • That sounds like exactly what I want. Thanks for the tips. You've been very helpful.