All About Ice Dyeing

It’s easy, it’s unpredictable and results in creative and unique pieces which can be as surprising as opening a ceramic firing kiln.

Joyful and creative activities became a thing during the Covid pandemic with people turning to online classes to explore new hobbies and creative outlets.

With ice dyeing you don’t need any lessons but there are lots of ice dyers on the internet who are willing to share their knowledge.

So, what do you need and can you do it on the kitchen table?

What Do You Need?

The answer is yes to both. You will need:

  • A surface to work on
  • A waterproof plastic basin or container
  • A piece of cloth or a T-shirt
  • Some soda ash to fix dye to fabric
  • Dyes in a range of colours
  • Crushed ice to medium size (not fine)
  • Plastic spoons
  • Gloves if you don’t want to dye your fingers.

How To Prepare Fabric

It helps to soak your fabric or clothing item to be dyed in a soda ash solution. This will fix the dye to the fabric and allow you to wash it without losing the dyes intensity in the future.

Place 4 litres of hot water in a pot or bucket. Add a cup of soda ash and stir to dissolve.

Place the fabric in the solution and let it soak for 30 minutes. Then remove and squeeze off the excess solution.

How To Ice Dye

Scrunch up your piece of fabric or t-shirt and place it in the waterproof container. Cover it with your crushed up ice.

Then sprinkle dye colours with a plastic spoon at will on top of the ice cubes. Try to avoid sprinkling big clumps of dye. The more even the coverage the better.

Be aware of placing two colours next to each other that when mixed will turn a muddy brown. A tip would be to use the colours of turquoise, a magenta or purple and an emerald green. Limit yourself to 3 or 4 colours for the best results.

Now wait for the ice to melt. This depends on your climate and where you live. It could take a few hours or just 30 minutes if you live in a hot climate. You can speed up the melting with a hairdryer if you cannot wait and are pressed for time. Or you can kick back, relax, and catch up on the latest horse betting tips while the ice turns to water.

Once the ice has melted, take the fabric or item of clothing out of the container using your gloved hands.

Rinse out in cold water until the water is almost clear. Save water by doing this in a bucket instead of under a running tap.

Now hang your items up on the line to dry. Press and they’re ready to go.

For washing your ice-dyed items, leave them to set while you wear them. Then for the first wash, it is recommended that you hand-wash them in a gentle soap for the first wash. You don’t want the dyed items running and staining your other clothes.

After that they should be good to go into a washing machine.

There are hundreds of video tutorials on YouTube and on the internet to try various techniques of ice dyeing.

Happy dyeing.