Printed Fabric Bee: Ice Dyeing With Soy Wax

This is the second in my series this month on using resists with ice dyeing. This is also posted on The Printed Fabric Bee blog.

As I mentioned in the first post, I’ve been ice dyeing since 2011 and have really loved the surprises from this fun dyeing technique. But as I’ve grown as an artist I’ve wanted to add even more texture. I love soy wax, so thought it would be fun to use it as a resist.


If you aren’t familiar with soy wax or want a refresher, I wrote a blog that included all of the supplies needed. It also included two videos where I used soy wax on silk. Here is the link. If you’d just like to see the video, here it is.

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 it’s time to get the soy wax out. For this example I used a paint brush to make my marks. You can make marks with a variety of objects. I really like to use potato mashers.

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

soywaxfabricreadyAdd the ice.


Then sprinkle on the dye.


And after a 24-hour batch, here is my fabric.


And another one.


And a couple more.

soywaxicedyed4 soywaxicedyed3

If you’ve not tried marrying ice dyeing with soy wax, I sure hope you’ll try it.

Next week is about another resist we can use with ice dyeing. Also, I’ll be announcing the giveaway for this month. I hope to see you then.