Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday Project - Ice Dyed T-shirts

I've been intrigued by ice dyeing techniques for some time and finally got around to trying it.  I decided to try it on t-shirts - mostly because it's getting really hot here and I need some more thin tees!

*t-shirts - I used Hanes Soft Comfort
*powdered procion dyes
*soda ash - I use the ph raising soda ash from a local pool store
*containers that are not used for food preparation
*dust mask - wear it when measuring and pouring the soda ash and powdered dyes
*rubber gloves

1.   Dissolve 1/2 cup soda ash in a gallon of water (warm water works best).  Add your t-shirts - you can probably get 4 or 5 in this amount before having to double it.  Soak for 1/2 hour.

2.  Put on your gloves and squeeze the soda water out of your shirts.  Scrunch into the bottom of a container you do not use for food.

3.  Fill the container with ice cubes.

4.  Sprinkle on powdered Procion dye.  For this one, I used 1/2 tsp. each of fuchsia red, turquoise blue, and lemon yellow and just sprinkled them all over.  After this first experiment, I made more with different placements and amounts of dye.

5.  Set aside for about 24 hours.

6.  After 24 hours, remove your shirt from the container and rinse until no more dye runs off.  Wash.  I wash with Dharma's fabric detergent (it keeps the leftover dye from settling on the white areas) and use a double rinse on the machine.  This is how my first shirt turned out ...

I like it, but it does have a lot of fuchsia!  I'm thinking it might need another layer of something.

7. So I made three more - with one I used 1/2 tsp. of each color but kept each color in its own little area, only overlapping a little.  For the second one I did the same thing, using about 1/4 tsp. of each color.  And for the third I used about 1/4 tsp. each of lilac, ice blue, and sage green.  This is what they looked like after being set up - kind of like a rainbow snowcone super sized!

8.  And these are the results ... the 1/2 tsp. of each color in its own area -

the 1/4 tsp. of each color -

and the lilac, ice blue, and sage green -

I have some ideas for changing how I set up the shirts and ice, but all in all I'm pretty happy with these!  Maybe they'll have something added - I haven't decided yet.

Happy Creating!  Deborah


  1. Oooh... This looks like so much fun! I love dying things! -Marci

  2. Can't wait for it to snow!!! I live in Colorado so hopefully we will have lots of snow soon!!!