Ice dyeing is a technique of tie dyeing fabric using ice or snow. This is a great project to try in the summer when it’s hot or in the winter when you have snow. Grab a bucket of ice, some plain white t-shirts and a tie dye kit and you can make this fun ice dye project with the kids.
How to Ice Dye
I’m sure you’ve head of tie dying. It’s a craft I think most of us tried at some point when we were kids. When I think of tie dye, images of hippies in crazy multicolored shirts come to mind. Tie dye is gaining popularity once again with people of all ages. Shibori dyed fabrics have been a huge trend for a while now and everywhere you look crafters are dip-dyeing home decor items of all sorts in vats of dye and creating everything from ikat to ombre patterns. A couple years back I even posted a tutorial on how to reverse tie dye.
I came across a technique for dyeing fabric I have never previously heard about. Ice dyeing! It’s a very simple procedure and gives a lovely water color effect on your fabric. As with any artistic medium there are plenty of different ways to go about getting the results you want.
Check out this video that my daughter, Chloe and I made showing how to tie dyed during a recent snow storm. The procedure is so simple even little kids can do it (with supervision of course).
Materials needed to dye clothing with ice or snow:
- Fabric- White works best and natural fibers like cotton or linen are ideal for absorbing the dye.
- Dye: I used Tulip brand dye kit. Rit dye also works.
- Screen or metal rack that the dye can drip through and drain as it melts.
- Bowl: Ceramic or something that won’t stain
- Ice cubes
- Rubber gloves. Make sure the gloves do not have any holes in them or you will end up like me, with a blue hand for a week and have to explain to everyone who won’t stop staring at your blue hand that you were just working on some tie dye crafts and then they look at you like you are nuts because people don’t enjoy doing crafts think that tie dye is just for children 🙂
Instructions for Ice Dyeing Fabric
- First, scrunch up your fabric in to a crumpled ball and place it in your bowl. You can add rubber bands around parts of the fabric if you want, like you normally would with traditional tie dyeing techniques.
- Second, take the ice cubes and place them on top of the fabric in the bowl.
- Open your package of dye and sprinkle it on top of the ice cubes and fabric. Set the bowl aside and forget about it for about an hour.
- As the ice melts it will mix with the dye and create lovely swirling patterns all over your fabric. Once the ice is mostly melted, dump the whole thing out into the sink. Make sure the sink you are using is made of a material like stainless steel that won’t absorb the dye and stain. Rinse your fabric with cool water and hang to dry. Once it’s dry, iron your fabric and admire your beautiful watercolor textile.
You can use this technique with ice cubes or snow like we did in the video. If you
Yes, but not with this technique. You can reverse tie dye black clothing with bleach- check out my tutorial here- but to do it with snow you would have to pour bleach onto the snow or ice. I haven’t tested this method so I’m not sure if it would work.
Yes, silk is actually a very versatile fabric to use for dyeing. You can use any type of dye to color silk except dyes created for synthetic fabric.
Polyester can be tie-dyed, but it’s not the easiest process in the world. Natural materials like cotton and rayon absorb fabric dye better, and when used on polyester, the dye creates a subdued color if any — not exactly the effect you want in a tie-dyed piece of clothing
I have never had a problem with it staining the machine or the bathtub but it is possible.
More Tutorials You May Like:
Have you experimented with any new tie dye techniques I should know about?