Tonight I am giving a small presentation (a three corner event which  I have not done before) for Exeter Quilters on Ice Dyeing.  I have had great fun making a whole new selection of fabrics, see below.  I am also posting the instructions.  This is the way that works for me rather than being definitive.


Ice dyeing notes  Patricia Hann

  1. Must work on 100% cotton or silk[1], which needs to be pre-soaked in soda ash or washing soda solution[2]   5 mins or more. (NB you can re-use left over solution.)
  2. Then squeeze out excess, scrunch the material and place on grid over sink. You can have several different materials at the same time and can try pleating and twisting etc.
  3. Spread a bag of ice from the supermarket on top.
  4. Sprinkle dye powders on top of this.  Use cold water Procion MX dyes[3] Think a bit about colour mixing so that you do not get all muddied browns –  experiment with amount etc.
  5. Remember MID Material /Ice/ Dye
  6. Leave overnight or equivalent and when ice all or nearly gone wash fabric as usual to remove excess dye  (cold water till no run off then hot water). – Do not panic if it looks awful.
  7. Dry and iron and WOW!


[1] I use any cotton available as I like to experiment. I used to use Whaleys of Bradford but am currently using Stone Fabrics  in Totnes as I can see and feel the material without having to send for samples.

[2] Use 3 scant tablespoons soda ash or 9 washing soda per litre of solution.  Dissolve in hot water and allow to cool – ignore any cloudiness. (about 20% washing soda)

[3] Kemtex is a good UK supplier.


Ice dye 1
Ice Dye 2
Iced Dye 3
Just look at those colours!
Iced Dye 4
Ice Dye 5
And yes they did all come out of one ‘pot’ !