Ice Tie Dye

Ice Tie Dye is a simple way to watercolor on fabric. Dyes over ice create beautiful patterns that convert plain white fabric into an abstract work of art. 

Ice Tie Dye Technique

Ice tie dye became popular after tie dye when Fiber Reactive dye became readily available in many colors. This is Bella Mal in 2019 wearing an Amethyst Ice Tie DyeIce Tie Dye Shirt

Like tie dye, you start by folding fabric to control how dye colors will flow through it. Then you lay ice pieces on top to control how dye colors will flow to it. Then you apply powdered dyes on top to control where dye color flows start.

The Final Product is the combined effect of how you folded the fabric, the pattern of the ice pieces, and how much and where you applied the dye colors.

How to Ice Tie Dye

You can find many websites with tutorials on how to Ice dye. Most of them sell dyes and tie dye kits so they want to show you interesting ways to use them.

Experiment until you get it right. Learn more about hand dyeing anything at Paula Burch's site All About Hand Dyeing It's an older site, but an amazing resource.

Ice Tie Dye basics

  1. Folds control how dye colors will flow through the fabric.
  2. Ice pieces control how dye colors will flow to the fabric.
  3. Powdered dyes let the ice control how the dye colors flow.
  4. Dye colors flow in random patterns as the ice melts.

Ice Tie Dye Color basics

  1. Dyes flow after they are applied
  2. Separate dye colors change color when they flow together
  3. White space (no dye) is okay.

    Tie Dye Technique

    The story of ice tie dye or Ice dye vs tie dye is best explained as a difference in the times, and the techniques used based on readily available materials.

    1960s tie dye was made with All Purpose dyes readily available in 3 colors. This is Joe Cocker in 1969 wearing a Sunburst Tie Dye at WoodstockWoodstock Tie Dye 1969 Joe Cocker

    You start by folding fabric to control how dye colors will flow through it. Then you apply rubber bands to control where dye colors will not flow. Then you apply liquid dye colors with squirt bottles to control where dye color flows start.

    The Final Product is the combined effect of how you folded the fabric, where and how tightly you applied the rubber bands, and how much and where you applied the dye colors.

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