How to Ice-Dye

July 18, 2019

We tried out ice dying as a new way to use pigment. This technique is great for a non-traditional looking tye-dye or a one of a kind print for fabric. The results can be as planned or as unexpected as you want, but they will always be beautiful! We used Jacquard Procion MX Dye to create funky t-shirts and socks. Click here to see the Jacquard sale on from July 18 – 24!

What You’ll Need
• Garment/fabric to dye
• Soda ash
• Bucket
• Rubber gloves
• Ice
• Dust mask
• A metal rack/cooling rack
• Plastic tub (large enough to catch run off from the cooling rack)
• Plastic spoons
• Dye (We used this dye)
• Plastic/old sheets

Step 1
Find the product you wish to dye. Try out different articles of clothing, blankets, or tote bags to add a unique look to your wardrobe. Cotton or other natural fabrics work best with dyes and will give you the most vibrant colour payoff. Once you’ve chosen the article you want to dye, prewash it to remove any oils, dirt, or softeners that may be on your clothing from the manufacturing process.

Step 2
After washing your fabric, it’s time to soak it. Mix together your soda ash and warm water (1 cup soda ash per 3.5 litres of water). Add in your fabric and let it soak from 15-25 minutes. Take it out and squeeze out any excess water. Make sure you have your gloves on!

Step 3
Scrunch up your fabric on top of the cooling rack. The more ridges and crinkles, the more intricate your design will be. Once your fabric is down, cover it entirely in ice. Crushed ice is a great way to ensure that ever area is covered as larger cubes can tip off the edge of your rack. Anywhere that is not going to have ice melting pigment onto the surface will remain white (which could be a look you are intentionally going for!) As the ice melts, you will experience run off so ensure that your bucket and plastic sheeting are catching the water.

Step 4
Put on your dust mask and gloves and using a plastic spoon, sprinkle the dye powder over the ice until you feel satisfied with the look. If you are a beginner to Tye Dye, try to choose colours that are complementary for a cohesive look. Some colour combinations can leave muddy patches when they run together. Using 3 shades from a single colour family or a colour wheel will help eliminate any funny colours from forming.

Step 5
Let your fabric sit overnight to allow the ice to melt and dye to fully saturate the fabric. Rinse your fabric in cold water before running it through the washing machine. Finally, model your awesome new digs!