Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Ice dye experiment 2

I've been ice dyeing again.

Incredible visual texture
First, I soaked the shirts in a solution of 1/4 cup soda ash for each gallon of hot water.  Then I wrung them out by hand (but not too much) so that they were thoroughly soaked, but only slightly drippy.  Then I
  1. Arranged t-shirts on the bottom of each plastic bin
  2. Placed a cookie cooling rack above them
  3. Put a white dress shirt on top of the rack
  4. Mounded ice cubes to completely cover the shirts (2+ inches deep)
  5. Sprinkled dye powder on top
  6. Went to bed

Ice dye, low immersion scrunch dye, tie-dye in baggies.
In the morning, I
  1. Spun out the shirts in my spin dryer
  2. Washed them twice in *hot* water with synthrapol dyer's detergent
  3. Rinsed them twice in cool water
  4. Spun them in between each wash and rinse to extract as much dye as possible 
  5. Spinning minimizes the number of washes and rinses you have to do

That's no plunger; it's a Breathing Washer.
Front of my favorite shirt
Back of my favorite shirt
Look at that detail!
A friend treats a lot of kids with head injuries.  The kids are in pain.  The parents are freaked out.  He's intimidatingly big at 6'3".  He likes to wear goofy things to lighten up the mood.  I think these will break the tension.  What do you think?

Two shirts going to a friend.
I mailed them off this morning, tucking in one of the blue/green tie dye shirts you saw on the drying rack.

Detail of the pocket
Ice dye shirt underneath the dress shirt caught the drips.
Two of the shirts were claimed by friends who came over for dinner while they were still drying.  Two more were claimed by friends who came over for dinner a few nights later.  She selected this one

This shirt caught the drips under my fave dress shirt.
and he selected this one.  (I know the title says ice dye, but this scrunch dye came out pretty cool.)  It looks kinda like space--perfect for a physics professor.
Spacey scrunch dye

The back view that the students will see in the lecture hall.
Another shirt went home to DD via DH, who flew into Boulder for a quick business meeting.

In total, I dyed 4 dress shirts and 7 t-shirts.  All of them were post-consumer waste given to me; the only new things I purchased were the dyeing supplies.

I gave away 3 dress shirts and 5 t-shirts.  This made a sizable dent in my refashioning supplies.

A coworker had a baby boy recently, so I need to tie-dye some baby onesies.  Click that link to see adorable baby onesies I've made in the past.  Explore all my Dyeing posts for dye recipes, tutorials and the results.

I've been sewing.  I've been working hard at my day job.  I have some science posts planned, but don't know when I will find time to write them.  There may be some short, quick posts to highlight interesting things I found before then.


  1. You made a lot of people happy with this project. I love the random marbled effect.

  2. Anonymous20:34

    Fantastic! Another plus for Colorado -- not so easily accomplished here in SoCal. I love your frugality dyeing 2 shirts for each setup. Ingenious!

    1. I bought ice cubes at Costco. Ice dye can be done anywhere you can get ice. I plan to do this in SoCal, too.

  3. How incredibly cool!

  4. I do a lot of dye painting and low immersion scrunch dying. What do you like about ice dying that's different than scrunch dying? Aren't the results pretty similar, or am I missing something?

    1. The results are dramatically different. Try it!

  5. What a fruitful dye session! Lovely results. I think ice makes better patterns than snow does. I made my own "Breathing Washer" with a brand new, small toilet plunger, then drilling holes around the top of the rubber with my biggest drill bit.

  6. Anonymous13:02

    Your dyeing results are beautiful. Stunning. Fun. Love the overdyed T's with printing. Makes outdated current. Very smart. Your favourite shirt is my favourite shirt too. Do you remember which dyes you used for that one? I'd like to try it myself.
    Vancouver Barbara

    1. I used khaki and sage green and burgundy.


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