Wednesday, August 5, 2015


This time I was determined to make an artsy piece.

I wanted to dye some PFD pimatex quilting cotton so I cut off a yard by 45”. The size of the piece you can dye is determined by the size of the bucket and rack that you can find.

I found one of these storage containers at Target that is 35.5” long and the key is that it is not so deep. I wish I had a 45” wide pan that was shallow so I could do pieces larger than a yard at one time. Then you need to find grids that the fabric can sit on. Lynn found baking sheet cooling racks at the restaurant supply store and they fit perfectly on top of this container.

If you can’t find racks, then maybe you can do this with foil to keep the fabric off the bottom.


After soaking the fabric in soda ash for 20 minutes, I accordian pleated it neatly onto the rack.


I set out all my colors with plastic spoons.


This took 6 trays of soda ash ice cubes and it could have used a bit more ice. But I think next time I will just use regular ice and load it up.

Again the dye was generously sprinkled on the ice. I think you can see I sprinkled it straight from one long edge to the other….top to bottom in this picture.  I started in the middle with dark purple and then used, cobalt, turq, lavender,avocado on each side of it.  Next I put foil on top and let it sit for 24 hrs before washing out…..and voila!


I’m pretty happy with it. Next I’ll try some rayon bamboo knit that I can turn into a top/tunic. This Procion MX dye gives vibrant colors and is easy to use.

Here are the beautiful scarves that Lynn did. She has great color sense!


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Ice dyeing in the Summer

I saw a you tube video on ice dyeing and it looked rather easy. My friend Lynn had lots of dyes that she had never used and some rayon bamboo scarves that were already hemmed. The scarves are from Dharma Trading that has everything for textile dyeing and painting!

We did this in my garage in case it made a mess and because we needed to let it sit overnight without being disturbed by dog or children.

We had to start a week early because we had to make special soda ash ice cubes. I mixed 1 cup of soda ash with 1 gallon of water and then filled up the ice cube trays. But of course my 2 freezers are full so I had to put in 2 trays and let them freeze overnight and then stack 2 more trays on top the next day.

On dyeing day, we took our scarves that are 5” x 60 “ and soaked them in a bucket of soda ash and water for 20 mins. After wringing them out , we arranged them onto a rack over a pan. I used a disposable aluminum pan and a grid that I found at Dollar General, my new favorite haunt. The grid  was probably for use on the grill but any kind of rack will do.

We held the soaked scarf at the narrow end and let it hang down. Then we pulled it up in our hands and pleated in like an accordion and placed it on top of our grid over our pan.


Then we covered it well with the soda ash ice cubes. I used 3 trays but Lynn didn’t have enough and used some regular ice cubes and I think it’s fine.


Next we took plastic spoons and sprinkled the dye powder onto the cubes. We used the wonderful Procion MX dyes from Jacquard Products. We were very generous with the dye and probably put on too much.


I also feel that I used too many colors while Lynn used less and all shades of blue mostly.



Next we put some saran wrap over them and let them sit for 24 hours.


The next day we took them to the sink and rinsed them out in cold water and then in hot water for what seemed like hours since dye was still coming out of the piece.  We then put the scarves in a bucket of hot water and a teaspoon full of Synthrapol and let it sit for an hour.  Then more rinsing and a cycle of the washer and dryer.  And voila!


To me, mine was too rainbow tie-dye looking but Lynn, who is a painter, made 2 mastepieces!


And so, I’m making more soda ash ice cubes to try again! Will post results but it was easy and fun! I like the serendipitous nature of this and want to try SNOW DYEING!  But not too soon, Winter was brutal last year!