Limestone Ice Dyeing
For those of you with the Limestone Ice Dye Kit. You should have a package of white powder, which is the Soda Ash and some clear liquid which is the Synthrapol. You will use all of the Soda Ash in a bucket of warm water. You only need a couple of teaspoons of the Synthrapol to wash your fabric before and after dyeing.
Here are the easy steps to achieving amazing colors on natural fibers. I dyed my fabric before sewing but you can dye after sewing if you prefer.
- Wash your fabric in hot water with 1 tsp Synthrapol. You can do this in the washing machine or in a bucket by hand.
- Rinse and ring out the fabric.
- Dissolve 1/2 - 1 cup of soda ash in warm water (wear a mask until dissolved if you want), put in the wet fabric and soak for 15 minutes. If you have one of the kits just dump in the whole package. In my experience using less or more of the Soda Ash did not seem to make a great difference.
- You can save the soda ash water, to soak another piece of cloth for dyeing.
- Wearing gloves, ring out (but don't rinse) the fabric.
- Arrange the fabric on top of a cooling rack (it will be scrunched up) and cover with ice or snow. The cooling rack can be in a vessel or outside over the ground. Just make sure that it is raised enough so the water from the melted ice won't touch the fabric.
- With a mask and gloves on, sprinkle your dye color over the ice. A little seems to go a long way. For this 2 yards of fabric I used about 3 teaspoons of dye but you can choose to use more or less, just covering the ice with the dye powder. I used a mesh tea strainer to dust the color on but you can sprinkle from a spoon as well.
- Let the ice completely melt into the fabric.
- Once the ice is melted the colors on the fabric will look sort of muddy and not pretty. Do not worry this is correct. Rinse the fabric in hot water and then hand wash in a basin with 1 tsp of Snythrapol until the excess dye runs off.
- Step back and admire!
- Hang to dry (or tumble in the dryer if you prefer)