Ice-dyeing is a subject I've covered many times on this blog....and one the three of us do regularly on our Folly Beach jaunts. The following is not meant to be a tutorial....rather an overview of our approach.We work on a large concrete pad beneath the house with an enclosed utility/storage area attached. We assemble all our dyes together...(note the microwave....we micro-waved dyed this time as well.....mostly over-dyeing pieces that needed improvement!)
We've done this so many times that we've really developed a system....here we have kitty liter pans labeled with the main color we've chosen to dye with....and each of us add fabrics as desired.
Big buckets are prepared with a soda ash solution, this one now contains all the fabric we had selected for our 'brown' batch.
Large bags of ice have been purchased and kept in a cooler. Kate is preparing one by breaking the cubes into manageable sizes with a rubber mallet.
We can never remember what combination of dyes we used...esp. if we want to either avoid doing that again or repeat when results are superior. So, now we take a reference photo of the 3 or 4 we use for each pan.
Fabrics are arranged on a screen placed on top of a kitty liter pan. Ice chunks are placed on the fabric (sometimes we tray dye as well....placing small amounts of fabric loosely spread out in the pan). Judy, showing excellent dyeing precautions is wearing rubber gloves and a mask as she sprinkles the dry MX dye power onto the ice.
Each pan is covered with black plastic, secured with clothes pins and set in the sun to batch. This is what we did the first day (with maybe one or two more that weren't in the photo). Not bad considering we didn't arrive till around 1:00 PM). Sincerely, we've worked together so often we almost have an assembly line method now.
The next morning when the plastic is removed....all the ice is melted and the delicious colors are revealed.
Ever tweaking our system....Kate came up with the back saving idea of using a tall work trolley to wash out our fabrics.
Once the water runs clear, the fabric is re-washed with Synthropol in a washing machine and hung to dry.
We save the pressing to do during happy hour where there is always a lot of squealing and laughter....and yes, sometimes outright begging to trade!
More to come on the next post.