Ice Ice Baby

Pinterest and Instagram are by far my favorite social networks. I am such a visual person, it’s so useful to be able to browse things by their pictures. This can keep me busy for hours. It’s dangerous!

While searching around on Pinterest for various dye techniques I came across a method called Ice Dyeing. With Ice Dyeing you take your fiber, be it fabric, yarn, top and you dye it by piling ice on top, sprinkling some dye on the ice and letting the ice slowly melt.

I had to try this for myself. I picked up some white and natural colored jersey fabric. I already had some Jacquard Procion MX dyes and Soda Ash on hand so I was all set for this experiment!  You prep the fabric as you normally would for tie dyeing. I washed my fabric in synthrapol then I soaked it for about 30 minutes in a Soda Ash and water mix.

While the fabric was soaking I had to find something I could set my fabric on that would allow water to drain while the ice melted. So, using what I had on hand I took a couple of tubs and inserted them into a mesh laundry bag making it taught so when I put the fabric and ice on top it would not crumple in.  Knowing I want to do this a lot more, I plan to look around for something more sturdy like chicken wire.

I scrunched up the fabric with no rhyme or reason and placed a  bunch of ice on top. I then sprinkled the dye on top once again with no pattern in mind.

IceDyeProcessThen I waited patiently.  And waited, and waited. Did you know when you watch ice melt it does not make it melt any faster? So, I went to bed. When I woke up the ice was all melted and my fabric was ready to be rinsed. I rinsed until the water was was almost clear then I did a soak in synthrapol for about 30 minutes. I rinsed again until the water was completely cleared and then washed it in the washer with normal detergent. Rinsing is the hardest part of this process but the reward is fabulous! I like how the effect is kind of a marble look, it reminds me of Agates. I am very happy with the pink colors.

IceDyeFullThe green and yellow were used on the natural fabric so I think it just created muted colors when I like super bright.


I made a cowl out of the pink and plan to make a maxi skirt out of the green/yellow.


I’ve also read you can add salt on top of the ice to create even more interesting effects. I plan on trying this out as well as breaking out the Acid dyes and trying this on wool yarn and top.