Saturday, April 2, 2016

Ice Dyeing at Folly

Our dear friend Kate has a wonderful second home on Folly beach which we sometimes venture to for a mini-retreat - Mary, Kate and myself.  We headed off this past week for 3 days to do some ice dyeing.
Arriving in early afternoon, our feet had barely touched the ground - we were so anxious to get started. We wanted to make use of every moment. The open garage which is underneath the house is a wonderful space where we can work - rain or shine....
and a smaller inside storage area where there's a microwave for dyeing and counters for holding our dyes. Years ago, I made large fabric samples of every dye color which helps so much when picking combinations to work together. You can see them spread out.
We started with ice dyeing. We've always used new cat litter pans with the vinyl shelving cut to a short length on top. Fabric is soaked in soda ash, laid on top of the vinyl and ice placed on top of that. Lots of scrunching will give wonderful patterning to the fabric when dyed with several colors.
We used 3 dye colors all of which work well together. Dye in a powdered form is sprinkled over the top of the ice and then covered with black plastic. The sun will go to work, allowing the ice to melt slowly; as it does the dyes on top strike the fabric. Since the ice is unevenly placed, it melts at a different rate allowing the dye to hit the fabric at different times.
We were anxious to see results but very impatiently waited until the following morning to rinse out. You can see the wonderful patterning on the fabric.
We used Fuschia as one of the colors which turned out to be very strong, but a fabric like the above can be overdyed.
I was dyeing lots of scarves for an order I had to fill for Parkway Crafts on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I didn't get to make as much yardage but a good feeling to get the scarves done.
We had enough vinyl shelving to cover 3 pans, so what to do to do for more ice dyeing. Kate had a great idea to use screening laid over the top of a pan and held in place with clothespins.
It worked great except the weight of the fabric made the screening sink in the middle a little, causing the ice to slide towards the center. We solved that be shown later.
We had great fun experimenting with all types of fabrics like the cotton gauze above....
and PFD mercerized cotton. Stay tuned for part 2 of our wonderful play days.

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