Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Ice Dyeing part 1

There's been some discussion on one of my email lists about ice dyeing, so I decided to give it a try. I took 2 one metre (yard) lengths of plain fabric, soaked them in hot water, then scrunched them up and placed them in plastic bags in the freezer. I didn't soak them in soda ash as the others had done, for no other reason than I had none made up and couldn't be bothered. Here's the first piece, in its frozen ball. I've used Coffee, Burgundy and Golden Yellow. This is the underside - you can see the ice lump on it.
And here's the second piece. I used Turquoise (because I knew it doesn't like the cold, and wanted to see what it'd do), Cobalt Blue and Violet. As the fabric thawed, I added more dye to the white areas.
Here they are sitting in their trays, now with soda ash added.

The results however, were disappointing - both pieces came out quite bland in their colouring, with no interesting pattern at all. They were in fact less interesting than ordinary tray dyeing. However, some of that was no doubt a result of a) not soda soaking upfront - this lessens the dye strike to some degree; and b) adding more dye as the fabric defrosted. However, rather than consign the results to the "not very interesting" fabric pile, I decided to repeat the experiment on the same pieces of fabric but doing it differently.

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