Thursday, 5 September 2013

Ice Dye

Two friends invited me to join them in an ice dying session. 
This is their second summer ... I was travelling and missed the fun last year. 
So, here are my first pieces! The full piece is followed by a detail.
Vertically folded: tight to loose at end (top)

Second layer - also folded

Top layer, tightly folded.

Second pail: large square folds.

Second layer - scrunched.

My favorite: done in a small container. Folded like a snowflake.
The basic method:

Pretreatment of Fabric: natural fibre, pre-soak in soda ash solution. Allow to dry.
I used a fine weave, white cotton. Approximately 1 meter pieces.

In a plastic pail/tray, fold/scrunch a layer of fabric.
Cover with ice so that no dye powder can fall through to fabric (causes dots of bright colour).
Sprinkle with procion dyes - 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. for each colour.
Repeat layers of fabric, ice and dye.

Place in the sun for the ice to melt and dissolve the dye. A few hours allows the dye to penetrate the fabric.

Your design is a function of how you fold the fabric, how you sprinkle the dye and how much dye you use. 

Final treatment:
Soak: starting with cool to hot rinses ... until the water runs clear.
Finish with a very hot water rinse.
Wash in the washing machine with a little synthrapol to prevent further running of the dye.

These are not masterpieces, but create interesting fabric that can be used as a background or fussy cut for interesting bits like flower petals.
The best part is seeing the results. If my friends are typical, I think it is addictive!

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