Did you say you don’t have snow and want to do some dyeing? Well, before I put up my dyeing stuff, I thought I’d try one more type of dyeing – ice dyeing. For those of us who don’t have snow or would like to try this in the summer, this is an alternative.
Please read my getting started and my fabric dye precautions posts before attempting this or any fabric reactive dye project.
Since Judi had suggested I set my fabric up out of the dye, I tried that this time. I set a metal rack on top of cat food cans which I put into my dyeing container. I then folded my material and placed it on top of the rack.
I topped the fabric with ice cubes.
I then sprinkled dye powder over the ice. Be very careful with this powder. Refer to my fabric dye precautions post.
Follow procedures as other dyeing. Cover and move to a warm area. Wait 24 hours. This is what it looks like after 24 hours and before washing it out.
Now to rinse, wash and dry. Follow the procedures HERE.
And this is what I got from this ice dyeing. Click on picture for larger view.
I am so pleased with this piece. It may be one of my favorite pieces. I’d love to see if you try this. Now I need to get the sewing machine going!
That piece is absolutely gorgeous! I can’t wait to see what you make from all of the died fabrics you have been making.
This piece is gorgeous Linda! I have never dyed by sprinkling the powders….so now you get to be the expert on this technique!!!
Robin, Thanks! Now the pressure is on for me to actually create with them!!
Thanks. Not sure about expert!!
This is great, good to know that you don’t have to wait for snow to use this technique! The colors in this are gorgeous!
Kristina, I know and you can even do it in the summer!! The colors did turn out so vibrant. You sure could sew up some beautiful things.
Just came back from holiday to find your site. Your fabric turned out beautiful, really nice :). Thanks for posting the pictures of how you did it. I’m going to have to try using ice at some point but I’m spoiled with all the snow so have been to lazy to try it yet but your results are inspiring.
Karen, Welcome back! Thanks for the compliments. The great thing about the ice is that it can be done any time! Thanks for dropping by.
I am sure you will sew some beautiful things with that fabric too Lynda!!
It’s beautiful. Can’s wait to try it.
OMG! That is too cool! I can’ wait to try this technique. Your fabric is gorgeous.
Suggestion: For those of us who use liquid dye – make different colored ice cubes in an old ice cube tray, after they are frozen place them the colored ice cubes on the fabric and let them melt. I don’t know if you will get the same effect but I am going to try.
Thanks for sharing a very unique method of dyeing.
Catherine, That’s a great idea! I’d love to see how that turns out. Thanks for dropping by.
Thank you!!! I just did the snow dying and was so sad that I won’t get snow like that again for 20 years. I will run right out and give this a try. I am SO excited.
Lucy, Let me know how it turns out! I found that the colors were even more vibrant!
Wow! How amazing! Never thought of ever using ice in creative dyeing!
Beverly, I hadn’t either but the snow was gone. I still had more fabric I wanted to play with and I thought why not try ice? If it didn’t work I’d just chalk it up to experience. But it did! Thanks for dropping by.
AMAZING results, I am definitely trying this! Did you use MX dye powder?
Natalie, Yes I did. the same dyes I used for my snow painting posts. I was pretty amazed at the results.
Oh my goodness! I tried this technique with AMAZING results, your directions were spot-on! Although, I didn’t have overnight to let it sit, so I was only able to let it sit for 2.5 hours, and I used a hairdryer to speed up the process. Thanks so much for your tutorial, changed my life!!!
Here are pictures of my results: https://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2248181&id=46200843&l=63f19db8ec
Natalie, So glad you tried this technique. And yours are absolutely beautiful!! You are so welcome. Thanks for sharing! Lynda
I really want to try this and then sew a dress out of it. With different colours though, maybe seafoam green/blue/white.
Danielle, That would be really pretty! Be sure and let me know if you decide to try this. I’d love to see that dress.
Why did I come here? Now I want to get back into dyeing fabrics and quilting again!! Beautiful results from such a unique technique.
Chris, Well it serves you right! You got me all interested in knitting!
Wow. That came out really nice.
Love it!!! Trying this technique right now… But I’m leaving it out in the sun to melt the ice.. We’ll see how it turns out! So excited that I found this technique. This is my first experience with using MX dyes. After I stumbled upon this I just had to go out and buy the dye!! Can’t wait to see the results
Missy, Let me know how that works. That sounds like a great idea on the technique.
Would this work with Kool-Aid powder? I have kids & pets in the house, so I don’t use anything toxic.
Badmsm, I really have no idea, but doubt you’d get these intense colors with Kool-Aid. However, I found this tutorial online you might want to try. http://www.education.com/activity/article/Make_Kool-Aid_Tie_Dye/ Sounds easy and a fun and safe activity for kids. Thanks for dropping by.
I just ordered some dyes from Dharma last week, waiting for them to arrive. I can’t wait to get this a try, the fabric turned out so beautiful! Thanks for sharing it. now off to see your other dying techniques.
Brenda, I’d love to see how your fabric turns out. I was just amazed at how bright the colors were even compared to the snow dyeing. I just got it back from Quilting Arts so I’ve not done anything with it yet. It’s so pretty I hate to cut into it!!
Wow. Great. I will try that this winter. It will be the first time I am waiting for snow.
Thanks for the tutorial.
Thanks. But you don’t have to wait for the snow with the ice cubes!! Lynda
Now that is absolutely stunning! Your ice cubes dyed fabric is so pretty! Thank you for sharing this, you talented woman! I will have to try this technique for the back of a very bohemian quilt that I am just finishing!!
Gorgeous art! Just frame it!
Deborah, Would love to see the back of your quilt!
Diana, Thanks so much. Thanks for dropping by.
Lynda, it was so nice meeting you at quilt day. I love your blog and especially the ice dying technique. I am “dying” to try it!(I know that pun is over used but still who can resist it?) I am working on a new dying technique for felted wool that I will have to share with you. Again, it was very nice meeting you! Dawn Westfall
I’m doing a dye project for chemistry class and I really want to try out your awesome idea. However, we’re restricted to using natural dyes. Do you think that natural dyes would work with this method? If so, any recommendations?
Meredith, I don’t think the ice would work with natural dyes. Here is a post on did using Perilla – https://lyndaheines.blog/2011/07/dyeing-with-perilla/. I was disappointed that the material was so light. But, it’s worth experimenting. Maybe, one of my readers who dye with natural dyes can chime in. I’d love to hear how your project works out! Please let me know. Meanwhile I will read the old dyeing book I picked up in Hawaii that is all about dyeing with natural fibers.
Hi Lynda!! I just used this method for dyeing some cotton. I have never dyed fabric before and am doing a project for my graduate drawing class using fabric. I was so happy to come across this and I loved the results!! If you’re interested in seeing my results they are here: http://jennfank.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-lammergeier-project.html
Thanks for posting this method! It was a lot of fun!
Jennifer, Your fabric turned out beautiful! Can’t wait to see what you drawing will look like on it. Thanks for commenting and directing me to your project.
this technique is beyond fabulous!..Thanks for much for sharing Linda! I just finished 20+ short caftans with the ice/dry dye method….love it!!!!!!!!
Lynn, Thank you for letting me know. I just looked at your caftans and they are absolutely beautiful!
A little tip: if you can find those little sliding screens that go into an open window (hubby found mine at HD…very cheap)..they adjust to cover the top of the tub and the ice cubes won’t fall thru them….I can get two large pieces or 3 smaller scarves on each one and I just hose them down when finished.
Lynn, Thanks for the tip. Great idea! That reminds me I have an old screen from another house and I had used in the past for paper making. That would work too! Thanks for dropping by.
What kind of powdered dye did you use?
Lynn, I used Procion MX Dyes which are fiber reactive dyes. I purchased them Blicks. You can also buy them online. Other brands of fiber reactive dyes also work. Here is a link to them on my Dye precautions page: https://lyndaheines.blog/2011/02/fabric-dye-precautions/ Thanks for dropping by and if you have any other questions, please feel free to email me. Lynda
Call me crazy but I can see, fantastical figures from another wonderland in the ice~dye master piece 😀
Nicole, That’s neat! I love that when people look at it they see different things. Thanks for dropping by.
After reading up on how to do this and seeing the comments about not having snow so using ice cubes, why not get a bag of the crushed ice instead of the ice cubes?? I buy mine from Sonic (fast food drive-ins).
Jennie, Yes, you can used crushed ice instead of snow or cubes. When we are low on cubes here, I’ll buy a bag of ice from the grocery store. I don’t use crushed ice since I like the results from cubes. Thanks for dropping by.
Have been experimenting with Dharma procion dyes and ice. It is interesting how my brown procion dyes end up red on the dried fabric piece with only hints of brown. I allow the ice water to drip down away from the folded fabric. Every time the results are always surprising! I saw you article in Quilting Arts and was hooked!
Hi Sally, Glad you have been experimenting! It is always interesting to see the finished design. Glad you are having fun and got you hooked!! I’d love to see what you’re doing. Feel free to email me at lheines at wowway dot com. Thanks for dropping by.
I love your ice dye shirt !
Do you start with the fabric wet or dry?
Rachel, The fabric is wet. Check out the getting started post I linked to – https://lyndaheines.blog/2011/01/snow-dying-getting-started/ Thanks for dropping by.
I managed to miss it when I looked at that post before; I have NO idea how. Sheesh. Thanks, and sorry!
Rachel R. recently posted..The Benefits of Hemp (A Wonder Plant!)
Rachel, No problem – easy to miss. Would love to see what you do or if you have any questions, email me.
this technique is very interesting!! I’m dedicated to paint papers and I’m thinking about how I could apply this technique to papers!
Salvatore, Thanks. This product is for fabric so I don’t think it would work on paper. Thanks for dropping by.
Hi there: Somehow I found your ice dyeing technique by bouncing around on Pinterest while looking at Zentangles and color. I’m a painter and do watermedia or mixed media on paper. What do you think of trying the Ice Dyeing on paper with inks? Seems that you’ve done it on Yupo with dyes. I’ve seen it done with watercolors and crushed ice on paper and the results are really good. Working on gessoed paper or stretched canvas with watercolor is almost like working on Yupo. Your blog is really interesting.
Hi Irene, I really have no idea how ice dyeing would work on paper with all of the water. I do know using fiber reactive dyes to paint paper works great so it’s worth a try. Thanks for dropping by. Glad you found me!
I have tried this technique with reasonable results. In another part of your blog you do this but mention stacking the fabrics and you show results from each layer with the bottom layer being the most vibrant. Did you put ice between each layer? And did you raise them all out of the bucket so they don’t touch the melted ice water.? I can’t work out how the ones at the bottom were darker. I love your tutorial
Hi Pauline, Did you see my latest tutorial on layered ice dyeing? Here is the link: https://lyndaheines.blog/2016/06/ice-dyed-parfait-revisited/ It shows you how I did it. The bottom layer always gets the darkest because all of the dye and melted ice work their way to the bottom. As you see, I have my container sitting on a rack so that that piece won’t be sitting in the dye water for the whole batch. Glad you like my tutorial. I do have an online class Icy Delights: Dyeing fabric with ice that gives you lots of info including my dye calculator and pdfs of 45 colors and how they split and my fav color combos and much more! You can check out the promo video is at lyndaheines.com. Thanks for dropping by.