Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Microwave Ice Dyeing

Our Fiber Junkies group met on Monday at my home to do some microwave ice dyeing. Kate and Denny had worked out all the kinks, brought the oversized microwave and bowls and prepared the way for us. Needless to say, everything used was strictly for creating art. It was a beautiful day and we could work on the deck as well as the studio. Excitement filled the air as we prepared for the first piece "to go in the oven". 
  A plastic type drainer, purchased at the dollar store, was placed in the bottom of a microwaveable  bowl so the fabric would not be sitting in liquid at the end of the process. Most of us used a mercerized broadcloth cotton which was soaked in a solution of soda ash first, next step - to scrunch it up and place on top of the drainer in the bowl.
 Next came the ice. Denny brought a great ice crusher - think it was called a Ninja. It used a pulsating action giving you a variety of sizes of ice - most of the time a few seconds did the trick.
 A layer of ice was placed on top of the fabric, both crushed and very small cubes.
 Next came the powdered dye - protecting ourselves with a mask and rubber gloves, we used a plastic spoon to sprinkle dye over the top of the ice. Generally speaking 2 - 3 colors seemed to work well.
 Here is color # 2....
 and the third color.
 The container was then covered with a lid or plastic wrap and nuked for around 4 mins give or take. If the ice had not fully melted, it was nuked a little more. As the ice melted, the dyes would strike the fabric, so it was important that all the ice melted.
 Here is one "hot out of the oven" being rinsed in the sink. If you try this, a good idea to allow everything to cool down for a spell as it can be quite hot.
 And another beauty.
 I think we had some good results. The fabrics shown have just been rinsed and not washed in synthrapol so final results are not in yet. We all promised to bring them to the next meeting.
 This one we all drooled over, we then had to go and do the same colors for ourselves.
 Val has such an eye for color; we all marvel at what she does.
 and the finished piece.
 Mary overdyed some peach colored wool: I liked the results after rinsing. It will be interesting to see how wool handles this type of technique.
On a lighter note, Val's long hair kept getting in the way so a grocery bag made a great tie back, we quilters are so good at improvising.
We also had a fabulous Show and Tell. We missed our February meeting due to bad weather so we had a lot of catching up to do. More on that in the next post.


  1. Gorgeous fabrics! The creativity of people amazes me.

  2. your fabrics are so delicious and what fun to make art with friends!

  3. Hi, this is my first visit here and I love your blog. I found you through Sara's blog, Confessions of a Fabric Addict. I would have loved to be at your house that day to learn the entire process of creating these dyes in fabrics. Thanks for sharing the process, really interesting. Love the results, maybe I'll give it a try :) I leave the link to my blog; Marisa from
    Nice to meet you!!!!!

  4. Love everything - except the grocery bag. haha. Your skils are amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  5. How clever! And so much quicker! Who knew!!! Thanks for sharing