Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ice Dying

Have you ever had a day where you were supposed to be doing something important, like work, and you just couldn't seem to get to it?  Welcome to my world.  Being self-employed is a hard discipline and I have worked my butt off this last year.  I guess being responsible and on task finally took its toll on me.  So I had a  ditch day yesterday. I did something just for fun.

I made some beautiful fabrics and thought you might like to see how I did it.  This is called Ice Dying! If you live in the north or east you call it Snow Dying.  But here in California it’s done the good old fashioned way, using your ice maker.  Thank you, Kenmore!

I had read about snow dying and loved the effects but in California snow is a little hard to come by for most of us.  Plus, it is a seasonal craft, at best. But where there is a will, there is a way.  First, I  Googled Ice Dying and there it was. I found the instructions on this cool web site.  I soaked my fabrics in a soda ash bath for 20 minutes.  She suggests 30.  OK, I don't have patience, either.
I folded and twisted the fabric, than laid it on a wire rack in a plastic tub.  It's a good idea to elevate the rack a couple of inches.  I used little bowls under the rack for that.  Then, I layered ice cubes on top of the fabrics. The key is not to reach into the ice maker with hands full of dye on your fingers. This could be a toxic problem for the family later.  I then sprinkled the ice with 3 colors of dye.  About a teaspoon or 2 of each color.  I think I overdid the first yard.

Then I covered the tub and let the ice melt in the sun for about 12 hours, not the 24 suggested.  This is California and it was 89 today in October. I rinsed it in the sink and washed it the washer and here it is.  A work or art on a yard of fabric. I did 4 different color combinations and now my mind is spinning with what to do with these luscious fabrics. What would you do with these?  Joe calls the one below Tequila Sunrise.

Now the fun is over. I have to go back to work.  Houston is in 2 weeks!


  1. Oooo-I like your ditch day! Gotta say, the fourth photo with the dye and the ice-it does not look promising at that point. Great results though!

  2. Melinda, Your fabric turned out beautiful!

    So glad you found my ice dyeing tut!

    Now to decide what to do with that lovely material!

  3. I ran across your blog and finding all sorts of great info and ideas!!