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!


  1. Gorgeous results! I love the results from ice dyeing. Have never tried using ice made from soda ash water, but am interested in seeing the difference from regular ice, so will try it next time .

  2. Very interesting about soda ash ice!

    I have only ever snow dyed, so I soak the fabric in soda ash before I start. But this sounds like fun for warmer weather!

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