So, Antho and I recently tried out ice dyeing for the first time. We've been experimenting with tie-dying fabrics and creating various designs since last summer (which, if you're curious, you can find over on our Storenvy shop) but this was our first experiment with ice dye and I made sure to document the process.
And seriously, look at this gorgeous shirt Antho made! Isn't it fun?
Unlike regular tie-dye where you mix the dyes with water prior to soaking the fabrics, ice-dye relies on the melting ice to moisten the dye. This means the dyes gradually drip down into the fabric, creating a beautiful watercolor effect.
You can choose to tie the shirts into various shapes as you would with regular tie-dye, or you could simply lay them out. The most important thing is to completely cover the cloth with ice so that it will get thoroughly saturated by the dies.
With our ice-dye project, we experimented. Some shirts got laid out, others were twisted, some spiraled, some shibori'd. In the end we had a wide array of gorgeous shirts, which makes me very excited to try this again!!
First, you're going to want to mix up some soda ash with water. Read the instructions on the packet for the appropriate quantities. Soak your shirts (or socks, or what-have-you) for the instructed time, then tie, wrap, twirl, or splay it out. Get creative! That's the whole point, isn't it? For what it's worth, ice dye comes out so pretty that it's really pretty much guaranteed to turn out gorgeous regardless, so don't feel intimidated.
Here we've laid out one layer of shirts and covered them with ice and dye powder. We managed to do two layers of shirts and socks on this. It was just a big storage tub with a grate thrown over it, but that worked really well for us. It's really as easy as it sounds; cover your fabrics in ice then get creative with the dye powders! We left our ice-dyes soaking from the early afternoon (around 2pm) until sometime after midnight…We had friends over and got excited. Ideally you would leave your shirts to soak for at least 12 hours but you can leave them for much longer if you choose. You'll need to rinse them very, very well prior to tossing them in the washing machine. Some people swear by using super hot water while others say to stay far away from it… I'm not sure which side of the fence I'm sided on just yet. Read your dye instructions and determine the best course of judgement for yourself.
The end results all came out beautiful, if I do say so myself.