Friday, September 9, 2011

Ice Dyeing: My Safer Way

Everyone who knows me knows that I am a stickler for extreme caution when using powdered Procion MX dye and other dye powders. So when I saw Quilting Arts' ice dyeing article this month I liked the idea, but decided to give it my "safety first" twist.

I had some concentrated dyes already made up for low-water immersion dyeing (2 tbsp. dye powder + 2 tbsp. urea + 1 cup of water). I keep these dyes in dish detergent bottles with flip-up tops; they have never leaked because they're made to hold liquid.

Safety tips: ***We do not mix dye powders without a small particle mask, gloves, and safety glasses, and we mix them in an enclosed box that has been sprayed with water to catch loose particles. We also, after carefully spooning dye into the container with a funnel, immediately dip the spoon & funnel into water and cover the dye container and dye bottle and dunk them into the water to clean off any loose dye. Be sure to find directions for all of this online or in a class.

I know... I'm a safety nerd.

To prepare to ice dye, I poured different colors of concentrated dye into tiny spray bottles (found at Sally's Beauty Supply in Georgia) and hair color bottles with tiny pointed tops...

For the rest of the ice dyeing directions, please refer to the August/September issue of Quilting Arts Magazine. I followed their directions, but instead of using loose dye powder (YIPES!!!), I sprayed and dribbled my dye concentrate onto the ice while wearing a mask (because of the fine mist of the spray). Here are a few photos of dyeing in progress:

The ice on this piece has melted and it will set until tomorrow. We'll see tomorrow how these dyed fabrics compared to the "powdered dye" fabrics.



Robbie said...

One year when in Florida for the winter, i wanted to try 'snow dyeing'...well, needless to say, no snow in Florida in January! So I crushed ice and put the 'package' in the freezer! Worked great and I got some beautiful pieces!!! This process is quite too! I'll keep it in mind this winter while in Florida!

Mary said...

I have been looking for posts on ice flower dyeing and put in the wrong search term and came across quite a few about ice dyeing. I was wondering about the safety of powdered dyes being sprinkled - so I am very pleased to come across your work. And you have put in amounts of dye to use, which the sprinklers don't seem to be doing. Thanks very much. I will give this a go - here in the hot Australian summer. And after I have a go at the ice flower dyeing - I am running out of room in the freezer and have to use the flowers.