Monday, June 11, 2012

Ice Dyeing

After reading the article about ice dyeing in the current issue of Quilting Arts, I decided to give it a quick try this past weekend.  It helped that I didn't have to worry about mixing any dye solutions since you use the dye powder dry, and that I have some colors that were gifted to me several years ago.  I wanted to use mostly mixed colors, because I've read from multiple dyers that mixed colors split in interesting ways when used for snow dyeing.  And, ice dyeing can't be that different from snow dyeing, can it?

So I ended up with two containers, with four fat quarters in each.  One container I left downstairs in the studio for 24 hours; the other I set outside in the sun all afternoon, then brought it inside.

Looks like interesting dye soup, doesn't it?  The one on the left has Pro Bright Blue on the bottom, then Pro Pewter, Pro Lemon Yellow, and finally Dharma's Chinese Red on top.  The container on the right has Dharma Fire Red on the bottom, then Pro Gold Yellow, Dharma Rust Brown, and finally Sabrecon Yellow F-11 on top.  That yellow looks nice and bright, doesn't it?

Twenty four hours later I washed them out.  Here's the container on the right after washing and ironing.

The bottom fabric (Fire Red) is on the upper left, then they go clockwise to the top yellow fabric on the bottom left.  Not much yellow on that bottom fabric, is there?  That one will definitely be getting overdyed.  I like the Fire Red, even with all the white; the others, I'm not sure yet.

Here's the other container-

The bottom Bright Blue fabric is on the upper left, then follow them clockwise to the Chinese Red on the bottom left.  I like the blue, and the reds have possibilities.  Who would have thought this fabric would come from pewter gray dye?

My jury is still out on ice and snow dyeing.  The top fabric especially doesn't seem to get as much color with this method.  Sometimes the patterning looks pretty unique, other times it doesn't look any different than I get with regular LWI dyeing.  I suspect I'll be willing to play with it as long as I have old, mixed dyes that I wouldn't use otherwise, but I'm probably not willing to experiment with my single shade primary dye colors.

I just thought- maybe I'll try these parfaits again, only using Ann Johnston's parfait method that I've done before.  Could be really interesting to see how different (or the same!) they are.

I don't know if it was because of the dye colors or the temperature, but the container that spent the afternoon in the sun seemed to have more intense color.  It would make sense to me that the temperature would have something to do with it, since it would be much more likely to reach the optimal temperature for MX dyes.

This was a fun experiment, and one way or another, I'm sure I'll find a way to use these fabrics.  Now I need to decide what colors I want to dye this summer to replenish my stash.  I can see a few dye weekends in my future!


Renate said...

Oh my but the colours on the fabrics from the left container are so vibrant. Love the Chinese Red!

upstateLisa said...

Very cool!!

Lisa in Penna said...

I do my snow/ice dyeing year round with screens. I find that having the melted ice drain away from the fabric gives a different visual texture; working in a closed container gives results closer to traditional LWI. There's a link to the article I wrote last year for American Quilter on my blog: I use liquid dye, but you could try it with dye powders.

Ginger Christmas said...

I have Procion by Jacquard and soda ash do you know if I need to use the soda ash because of the dyes I have?

Lynda said...

I wrote the original article last summer on ice dyeing and tried the "ice parfait" technique in this latest issue of QA recently. I wrote a post showing the different level of colors with this technique. The fabric at the top is not as intense but that was due to my concern about the other layers so I used less dye. There definitely is less control with this technique - even less than normal! If you'd like to check out my ice parfait and how the different levels looked - The bottom layer was really dark but I still love it too. More experimenting to come. Thanks for your post. Lynda at bloombakecreate