Ice Dyeing: Last Night’s Batch Turned Out Like This…

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NICE!

So why are there no white spots, even though these were more tightly crammed in than the previous batch? I may have soaked these more than the other ones… so maybe the white on the previous set were dry parts in the center of some folds? Not 100% there…

Here is the thing- LOOK at the color variability within the batch though!

Here is how one of the first two scarves I was struggling with turned out:

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Meh. It’ll do. But compared to the color on the left…

So those scarves were 40% synthetic and 60% cotton… JUST like the ratios on the pashmina’s I did in the same dye batch. Can you imagine if I had just decided I couldn’t figure this out and thrown up my hands because of those things? Because here is how the pashmina’s turned out:

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From left to right: 80% cotton scarf, 100% cotton bandana, 40% acrylic/60% cotton pashmina, and the original scarf I was playing around with, also 40% acrylic/60% cotton.

Check OUT that color variability from the same dye batch.

So if at first you don’t succeed… try a different fabric!

As to the color: funny how when I was a kid purple was my favorite color but it doesn’t do ANYTHING for me these days… I like the previous set better, but I’m also not a huge fan of turquoise. Blasphemy, I know! But it’s not about what I like best… it’s having a nice range of choices at the craft fair and using all the dye in my collection. I do think they turned out purdy though.

 

IT WORKED! Ice Dying

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IT WORKED!!!! KINDA!

So how about them apples?

So my 24 hour experiment in ice dying with the use of soda ash… rousing success. Aside from the unpredictable nature of the dye itself that is. Let’s be clear- those colors SHOULD have been true blue, black, olive green, and yellow. And we ended up with torquoise, brown, black, pink, a few yellows, and on the 4th one (not pictured, but a gauzier fabric so was already dry and was pulled off the rack at the time of the picture) spots of neon orange.

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The products, even the cocktail salt, are all ordered on Amazon. I can do without a salted rim most of the time but I’ll have to save some for Chiltons. Normal table salt is fine and cheaper, I just ran out

But lord above, I think this whole thing might work out after all. Interestingly, even though all of these fabrics are synthetic and blends, it’s the natural fiber dye that’s working best. And, of course, most of the dye in the stash is iDye Poly instead of just the iDye powder. Sigh.

So here are the steps that led me to this last go round. Make sure your fabric is prewashed. I just tossed all the scarves and bandanas in the washer and washed with regular detergent.

Step One: Brain Folds

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Brains!!!

So I watched a video of a dyer who said the more folds in the fabric the more interesting the ice dying comes out. She said she tries to aim for a brain folds look, which seemed easy enough to emulate. The edges of that ol’ garage sale dish drainer have large holes on the corners so I prop it up with some scrap pieces of 4x4s from when we installed the fence extension. I’m a LITTLE concerned I put too many scarves in this batch and the whole thing might be too tight for the dye to work down… Only one way to find out.

Step Two: Saturate

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Action Shot

So I totally soaked it with water. Some people get the scarves wet before the folding into place stage, but this seems easier to me. Also, maybe some dry spots will be more interesting. And this keeps me from getting soaking wet myself.

Step 3: Sprinkle with soda ash and salt. More than you’d salt food for both ┬áby about 4 times, but no clumps.

Step 4: Sprinkle on dye powder over surface. Particular colors in spots, some overlapping, but not to much- you don’t want muddy colors. So I hear.

Step 5: Sprinkle on more soda ash and salt. I also poured on the dye activator liquid, which as far as I can tell hasn’t done anything yet, but I might as well use it.

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Im using way more dye powder these days than I was before watching other people do it on tutorials.

Step 6: Top with ice, evenly cover surface with about an inch or so depth.

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Collaborate and listen

Step 7: Wait 24 hours.

Tonights batch (the pictures used in the steps above) are Black (was in the natural fiber dye sleeve, but I may have mixed up the bags to sleeves.. or the black from the experiment yesterday was poly dye… I don’t even know anymore.) Poly purple, all the rest of the poly turquoise that has come out denim blue in the past, and a few dots of the brilliant blue natural fiber dye that turned out turquoise yesterday. I went heavier with the black and purple.

Yesterday I only did four scarves, tonight I went with six and two bandanas, but three were gauzy scarves, including the first two I was experimenting on. The poor ugly ducklings are pretty stiff with salt at this point. Fingers crossed for some swans out of those two on the third try.

Now we wait and see. This part kills me…

Ice Dyeing… or What have I Done?

So… ice dying, right? So I loved the look of the scarves I did last week:

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First attempt. Should have just left it alone…

But once I put one on to wear it read as really subtle since you lost the marbled look with it scrunched up around the neck… and my husband said the couple of light tan spots read as looking dirty… so okay, I’ll just over dye those spots in red with a poly dye for synthetic fabric.

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So yeah, I totally spilled a glom on that one spot…

But… it didn’t take. Just gave a blah light pink diffusion over spots… so that sucks. Okay, so then I overdyed and went heavy with it the next day with the red dye for cotton fabrics.

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On the grass this time for greater control. I still spilled it. Also added more blue and black to make it less murder-y

And… it still didn’t take. I even used the dye activator liquid that came with the dye, and salt… it’s a bit of a mess. I rinsed the one on the left in the picture above out after 2 hours, I’m going to let the one on the right stay out there longer and hope the cat doesn’t walk on it and the dog doesn’t pee on it. This is asking a lot of fate, I know.

I sure as hell hope it’s either just the particular fabric on these scarves or the red dye color from both types. Because 30 ┬áscarves that look like this ain’t gonna cut it, methinks.

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At least the salt is helping the black to take… so there’s that. It isn’t a mistake if you learn something, RIGHT?

I’m just going to chalk it up to a learning curve… like the first pancake that never turns out right.

One other thing- it’s disappointing to see that now that I have all this poly dye, it’s stating that it really needs to be heated to set… as in boiling the fabric with the dye. Well, that is just not going to be possible here. Now, the poly blue took well enough without it… but that poly red sure is a mess. I’m just going to do a test on the next few scarves of all the dyes in stripes to test the colors and see what I can work with- since the poly red and blue reacted so differently, and the natural fiber black and red took so differently I really just need to see them all in action. Watch it be the first one to sell…