Thursday, January 19, 2012

ICE DYEING ON A SNOW DAY

Wednesday, this week, we got 5-6 inches of snow here at our house.  The Seattle-Tacoma area was slammed with 5 to 12" of the cold white stuff.  It brings this town to a standstill.  Since it was treacherous to go out and I didn't need to, I made good use of the time, spending it up in my studio, sewing.

Then on Thursday, we got freezing rain on top of it.  

Since I'm working on my Connecticut Winter Quilt, and I'm getting close to finishing the top, I naturally started thinking about the back.  I knew I didn't want to use the leftover fabrics - then the back would be too much like the front.  And, I really don't want to buy fabric for it, because all of these fabrics were purchased while on our trip to Connecticut last winter.  That leaves just one option - dye my own!  I love this idea.

As my mind wandered while piecing the many blocks into rows, I thought remembered ice dyeing.

I had done a little of that a while ago - and the fabrics where beautiful.

I started some fabric heating in some soda ash mixture.


Then I let it drip dry for a short while.

I got out a large tray and over that I put an old window screen, where I arrange the folded prepared fabric.  I was thinking about using it as binding, so I folded it into strips, thinking that when cut on the diagonal for binding it would look very nice.



And then I headed out to get some of the 'local' ice.
  Brrrrr.  With bucket in hand, I smashed through the thick ice crust and broke some up and brought it in.



I had to break it up into even smaller pieces - it was soooo cold  - and arrange it over the fabric.


Then sprinkle the dye over the ice...


And wait, and watch as it melts.....


....and drips dye onto the fabric beneath....


...and does weird and magical stuff....


...it is so beautiful to watch as it slowly melts....




Then, the next morning, the ice is all melted into the tray below and the fabric has absorbed the dyes.

The dye-design on the fabric is like none you'd get in a conventional way...


Here's some close-ups...







Beautiful and strange and so much fun.




42 comments:

  1. Becky Brooks11:53 AM

    This is so cool, Terry!

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  2. Anonymous7:58 AM

    Thank you so much--first of all you are a gifted writer, and secondly the images as the process unfolded were spectacular. I am going to attempt this with ice from my freezer. I froze some water in baking pans so I could chunk it up to resemble yours. Even have the same color dyes...fingers crossed! Thanks again!

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    1. Anonymous5:34 PM

      This is awesome! I was just wondering what type of dye you used and if you know if it would work with natural dye as well. Also, do you think that it would work on cotton knits and woven wools? Thanks!!

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  3. I use mostly Dharma Fiber Reactive Priocion type dry pigments, and a few other brands. I have never dyed wool, but I would think it would work just beautifully on cotton knit. What a great idea for t-shirts! Have fun.

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  4. Anonymous11:35 AM

    Can you tell me more about heating the fabric? Soda ash mixture? Thanks!

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    1. I just mixed the soda ash into the water, and heated the water up a little. Not to a boil, I didn't measure the temp, but it was too hot to put your hand into. Remove from heat, stir in the fabric and let it sit for a little while.

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  5. Anonymous12:19 AM

    Thanks for the great tips on snow/ice dyeing
    As we do not have great dumps of snow here in Australia I will have to try the freezer ice to dye my fabric Last year my group decided to have a dyeing day and the temperature was 44degree celcius about 110 F The fabrics dried way to fast and the water was hot without being heated We intend to have another go this Oct with a close eye on the weather
    Cheers Anne

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  6. Those are the exact colors I am looking to do on someone's gift I would like to make! I can't quite see what colors you used for sure could you please tell me? :)
    Thank you
    Trina

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  7. Anonymous9:32 AM

    We just have a messy ,freezing ,couple of weeks of snow and ice and cold.
    This could make it seem worth while.

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  8. I love it. Last year I did some snowdyeing, and that was also beautiful. I think I will try your technique also, thank you very much for sharing this.

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  9. Anonymous6:59 AM

    I tried on watercolour paper with acrylic inks. Waiting for the beautiful result.

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    Replies
    1. What a wonderful idea...I'll have to try it next time we get snow, too.

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  10. Anonymous9:29 PM

    Wow! It's been -20 here so often this winter that I wish I had know about this technique. Looks beautiful!

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  11. This is truly amazing. What is the formula for the soda ash mixture you pre-treated the fabric with? Also, is there a final step to set the dye? I'd really like to experiment with this process! Thank you so much for sharing

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  12. I just mixed about a 1/2 cup of soda ash into about a gallon and a half of water, and heated the water up a little. Not to a boil, I didn't measure the temp, but it was too hot to put your hand into. Remove from heat, stir in the fabric and let it sit for a little while.

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  13. If you've never done this before what are the essential ingredients and tools? And do you have website reference where you can buy the dyes and tools etc.? I was also wondering if you need a specific type of fabric to make this work.

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    Replies
    1. There was an article in the issue of QUILTING ARTS Magazine about Ice Dyeing. That's the August/September 2011, Issue 52. I wrote a little more about it here: http://beforethedog.blogspot.com/2011/08/ice-dyeing.html

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  14. Anonymous11:51 AM

    Wow this is truly amazing

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  15. Anonymous2:18 PM

    What colors did you use, this is really beautiful!

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    1. It's been so long ago, I can't remember exactly what dyes I used on this batch. But, any combo that you like will work!

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  16. Stunning...........What fun!!!!

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  17. Anonymous11:40 AM

    Thanks for sharing . I was just wondering about all this Michigan snow and ice that I can no longer tolerate. Now I just consider it another FREE ART SUPPLY

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  18. I was wondering does it work well on silk?

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  19. I have never dyed silk, so don't know much about the process, but I would think the general idea would work. You'll probably have to change the process, i.e. the mordant and how you finish it. Good luck.

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  20. what all colors you used in this pic

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  21. Anonymous4:31 AM

    My daughter just sent me a link to this and..... GASP! These resulting colors and patterns are gorgeous!! I see doing this dying in our futures.



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  22. Beatiful...and awesome! I will practice
    Thanks to share

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  23. Love it !! I live in Bali no ice at all!
    My freezer is too small, pity.
    I like your work, thanks sharing

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  24. Thanks for sharing. Your fabric is truly beautiful and I'm now inspired to have another go. My first efforts were not as good as yours.

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  25. Anonymous6:55 AM

    Beautiful!

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  26. GRATA PELA SUA MARAVILHOSA PARTILHA, COM BOA VONTADE DE ENSINAR. OS TRABALHOS FICAM LINDÍSSIMOS.MUITO INTERESSANTE E MUITO BONITO.

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  27. Anonymous9:26 AM

    once the snow/ice melts, do you apply more snow or dye?

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    Replies
    1. Once the ice melts, the dye has been dispersed onto the fabric and you are done.

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  28. Anonymous5:34 PM

    I do rust dying and would love to try out the ice dyes. The silks are treated with vinegar so I'm curious as to how the color dyes will act with it.

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  29. Anonymous11:22 AM

    Does the soda ash set the dye or do you need to do anything more?

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  30. Anonymous10:48 AM

    Thank you for sharing. I have done ice dyeing, too and I think the larger ice does a better job.

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    1. Anonymous10:23 AM

      hello !je n'ai pas compris pourquoi "you put an old window screen on this tray " ?why ?would you explain the usefulness of this fabric ? thank you from a french girl

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    2. Anonymous10:54 AM

      hello "bis "
      did you put the old window sceen over the tray then the fabric then ice and the dyes ?thank you "bis "
      for this wonderful idea !

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  31. Hello French Girl, the purpose of the screen is to hold the fabric above the melted ice water. If the fabric was in the water the dyes would melt all together and you would probably get mud. I have also used an old 'baby gate'. Anything that will allow the water to freely flow through and hold the fabric above the tray that catches the melting water will work.

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  32. And, after, you just hang your fabric to dry it ? The results are "merveilleuses et lumineuses". Many thanks for all your explications. I am french, too..

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    Replies
    1. I treat it as you would any other dyed fabric. I usually rinse really well, then wash in the machine a time or two, with synthropol.

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