If you haven’t jumped on the ice dyeing trend, now is the time! See all of our Ice Dyeing Tips below.
We are obsessed with the tie dye process called Ice Dyeing. We have created so many beautiful creations using this method on sweatshirts, beach towels, cloth napkins and even a big tote bag. Dyeing fabric is such a cool creative experience – a must try for everyone! See all of our Ice Dyeing Tips below.
We love ice dyeing so much that we even sell the Ice Dye Dish Towels in our shop.
What is Ice Dyeing?
Ice Dyeing is a fabric dyeing method using ice, (pre-treated) fabric and powdered fabric dye. You can use natural fabrics like cotton, linen, wool, and silk. The fabric is first washed and kept damp. The natural fabric should be pre-treated with salt, vinegar or soda ash (depending on the type of fabric you are using and dye that you use).
Then you place ice is onto the fabric that is bunched and placed on top of a rack. This allowed the ice to melt through. You will apply powder dye to the ice. The melting ice gives the water color effect as you allow the ice to melt over the fabric completely.
What dye to use for Ice Dyeing?
Powder fabric dye works best for this tie dyeing method. You can use liquid dye, but you will not get the multiply colors watercolor look as you get with the powder dye. Rit Dye makes fabric powder dye. We used this kind on these sweatshirts.
We used Jacquard Procion Fiber Reactive Dye on these Ice Dyed Tote Bags. We noticed that this brand of dye gives more color than the Rit Dye. These Ice Dyed Tote Bags were done using Dharma Trading fiber reactive dyes, as well as these hoodies sweatshirts. The Dharma reactive dyes gives more depth and color!
Powdered Fabric Dyes
What fabrics can you Ice Dye?
Natural fabrics like cotton, silk, linen, hemp and wool work the best. The natural fibers can absorb the powdered dyes. Synthetic fabrics must use dyes made especially for synthetic materials.
Ice Dyeing Tips
Dye in bulk outside – This is such a fun project to do in the summertime. We set up poleax tubs outside with a large piece of chicken wire netting.
A little bit of dye goes a long way – You only need to sprinkle the powder dye on the ice in a very small amount. Too much powder can take over the fabric and get dark and blotchy.
Watch out for the wind – If dyeing outside, be careful with the wind. As you sprinkle the powder on the ice, the wind can catch the powder and can cause colors to get on other pieces of fabric.
Let the ice melt completely – this will get the color to hold the best!