Soy Wax and Ice Dyeing

Now that you know how to work with soy wax, why not add it to other techniques, specifically ice dyeing? If you’ve never ice dyed, check out my very first tutorial on ice dyeing.


Ice dyeing is a bit different with soy wax because the fabric must be dry. The first step is to soda ash soak the fabric. In regular ice dyeing, that wet fabric would then be put on the dyeing rack ready for the ice. However, since the soy wax will dissolve in water, the fabric must be dry before you start this process.

After the fabric has been soaked in the soda ash water for 30 minutes, remove and hang to dry.

Once it is dry, you can lightly iron the fabric if it is too wrinkled for you.

Now get the soy wax out and play. Check out my soy wax tutorial.

In the picture below I’ve used one of my potato mashers and a brush to make marks with the wax on the dry fabric.

soywaxpieceOnce the wax dries, which only takes a couple minutes, lightly scrunch it up and set on the screen inside of the dyeing pan.

soywaxice1soywaxice2Add ice and then the dye. See these directions on ice dyeing HERE.

And here are the results.


On the left is fabric using a pure dye – Cerulean Blue. On the right I used Brushed Steel, a composite color which when ice dyed breaks out in all of its colors.

I’ve found I really like using composite colors instead of pure dyes with ice dyeing because of all of the color combinations. If we look at the Brushed Steel piece again, you can see all of the lovely colors including yellow. Also, looking closely you can see lines which are the screens that the piece sat on.


This is really one of my favorite ice dyeing pieces to date. I love all of the texture. The soy wax images are not crystal clear, but you can see them. I like the layers and it’s nice that it’s only two layers but looks like many more.

I wrote a post awhile back about Brushed Steel and how it breaks out and how it’s suppose to look like when low immersion dyeing. Check it out here.

So that’s just another way to use soy wax. It’s a fun medium and works great with ice dyeing. If you try this I’d love to see your results.