Friday, September 9, 2016

Ice Dying

I spent a fun morning this past week doing some ice dying with my quilting friend, Becky.  She's done this type of fabric dying before and had all the supplies we needed and a nice big space in which to work, so I was very happy that she invited me.

We used cotton that had been prepared for dying and cut into pieces about 18 x 24".  We scrunched them up or folded them so they would fit into small plastic containers.  Then we covered each fabric with lots of ice cubes that had been whacked into smaller pieces.  Finally we dotted the ice with different colors of powdered fabric dye.  (The Dharma Trading Company, which sells dyes, had a good "how to" tutorial here.) 


In some cases we put one piece of fabric in a tall plastic container, covered it with ice, dotted it with dye and then layered another fabric on top and repeated the process.  

All that only took about 90 minutes so we had a nice relaxing lunch out on Becky's lovely deck and then I packed up my containers carefully into my car and headed home.  I set my containers on a table in the garage and left them there for a day while the ice all melted and the dye soaked into the fabrics.  Then I took everything out of the containers and threw it all --fabric and dye --into the washing machine for two cold water rinses.  I didn't have time to finish up by doing a hot water wash, so I just hung the pieces up and smiled!  They looked so festive and interesting!

This morning I washed them in hot water with Sythropol, a special "after wash" for newly dyed fabric.

Here are some of the pieces washed, dried, pressed, and folded.   I love how they turned out.

Here's a closer look at a couple which were scrunched up so as the dyes melted the colors randomly appeared across the fabric.

These two fabrics were folded and the dyes then made lines.

As much as I liked the full pieces, I also liked how you could focus in on a section and see something wonderful.  For example, this larger piece....

contains this section (about 4x4").

And this larger piece...

contains this smaller section (also about 4x4") 

Which leaves the question of which pieces to cut into smaller parts and which ones to keep whole?

Time will tell!


  1. I likeee
    especially the one that's kind of orange and turquoise. And the pink one, with the strong lines... I like it whole.

  2. Love this! I have done baggie dyeing but the ice is a new one. I love how they turned out.


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