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Ice Dyeing is super easy.  Betty Tyree taught the Starry Eyes a couple years ago.  I’ve done it 3 times since her workshop.  So, although I’m not an expert I can assure you it’s easy.

I get all my information and supplies online from Dharma.

Dharma has 2 Tutorials online:
Learn How to Ice Dye
Ice Dyeing with Ugly Colors

The tutorials have complete supply lists and instructions.

For fabric prep, I either use PFD (prepared for dyeing) cotton yardage or dyables as is, or I wash plain cotton in Blue Dawn dish detergent as Betty taught me.  I don’t bother with the special textile detergent recommended by Dharma.  I also use multiple soaks in Blue Dawn post-dyeing to get the excess dye out.

The only exotic items are the Fiber Reactive dye powder and soda ash powder.  Dharma sells dye in primary color sets, or you can buy any specific color(s) you like.  I bought my Soda Ash from Dharma, but apparently this commonplace chemical is cheaper bought locally.  Kitty bought for our recent play date at a pool supply company.  Kristen buys it as “washing soda”.

Two caveats:

  • This process works best on plant fibers like cotton; the soda ash is for breaking down the cellulose in the fiber.  It can degrade animal fibers like silk or wool.
  • WEAR YOUR DUST MASK from the time when you open your dye powder till when you cover your container of ice+dye.

Below are shots of my most recent results.

— Susan K

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