An ombre veil is more than just a way to bring several colors together. The ombre brings something to your dance over and above what can be achieved with a solid color veil, or a mottled, tie dyed, or randomly blotchy veil.
A 2.5 minute video is worth a thousand pictures; my dance partner Tedi provided me with several hours of barrel turns holding various veils so you can see what I’m talking about. (As an aside, don’t you hate instructional/informative type videos where the narrator starts out with that ear-piercing “Hi everyone!” and then proceeds to ramble in front of the camera for waaayyyy too long? You click one minute forward into the video and they are still rambling uselessly, so you click two minutes in, three, four. Finally you get to the 15 seconds of useful information in the five minute video? I hate that. I promise to never waste your time like that. The video that youtube tries to make you watch after this one will probably be one of those.)
In a nutshell, the ombre itself brings dimensionality to the veil. It distinguishes the two edges of the veil in 3 dimensional space, so that what you are doing shows up better. The effect is particularly striking on a big stage. This 3 dimensionality shows up whether the edges are contrasting colors as in the video, or whether the ombre is more subtle. For this reason, when customers ask me for a solid veil, I will usually suggest a subtle lighter to darker gradient of their desired color. It just provides depth to veil in motion; even a subtle difference brings dimensionality to the veil in motion.
An alternative strategy to highlighting movement is with a lengthwise gradient in which the colors transition across the 3 yard dimension of the veil. These aren’t as popular, and for a long time I thought they were inherently inferior. I recently made one by error and was quite surprised. Here is a side by side comparison. I found the way it highlighted movement different and delightful from the usual ombre.
And finally ombres provide options in terms of the direction of the gradient that we hold. Depending on the the colors of your ombre, your costuming, and the lighting, you might decide one direction lends itself more to what you are trying to create with your dance. You can also change the edge you are holding during a dance and play up that contrast.
What about painted designs? I try to do them on a gradient background if possible, for just all these reasons.