Tuesday, September 06, 2011
Ice Dyeing (or the dyeing you can do during hot flash season)
In the current issue of Quilting Arts magazine (Aug/Sept 2011, #52) there's an article by Lynda Heines about "ice dyeing." When I read the issue, I read the article and thought, "That looks fun, I'll have to try that some day." And I promptly forgot all about it.
But then about a week later, I went to my monthly Practical Design group, and two of the women there showed fabric they'd dyed using the Ice Dyeing technique. It was gorgeous, just gorgeous. And they bubbled on about how easy it was -- so I was inspired to go home and get it going the very next day.
Here's the thing about this method: you don't have to mix dye solution ahead of time. Now, I know that's not a huge task, and of course once you mix the dyes they keep for a while. Still, when I'm in the mood to play with dyeing, I want to get to the dyeing and having to do all that advance preparation discourages me some. Silly, I know, but there you have it.
At any rate, the beauty of this method is that you don't pre-mix dyes. (It also means that you have to be MORE careful about wearing a mask and not exposing yourself to dye powder carelessly.) But basically, the method is this: You set up a rack over a tray or tub, put soda-soaked fabric in a flattened wad (or folded bundle) on the rack, put ice cubes on the fabric, and then sprinkle a bit of dye powder onto the ice. As the ice melts, the dye powder dissolves and contacts the fabric. You let it sit for 24 hours, then wash it all out. The specific details and instructions are illustrated beautifully Lynda Heines' article.
So away I went. And the results have been exciting and very fun.
In fact, this is so fun and easy it's hard to stop.
So far I've dyed half-yard pieces. Today I'm going to try a bigger piece and see what happens. But I highly recommend experimenting with this -- it's very fun.