Friday, June 14, 2013

Ice Parfait Dyeing

I needed a little gift for some guild friends who have been working on their own versions of the Alternate Routes pattern, and thought I would try out a new to me dyeing technique - an Ice Dyed Parfait.

The fabric I used was presoaked in a Soda Ash solution.  In my large glass jar I began with 1/2m of fabric in my standard scrunch.

Next add a layer of ice cubes.

Then a sprinkling of dry MX dye powder.

 Then repeat until you fill the jar.  I used three layers of fabric and ice/dye.  Then you wait for it to melt....

I started a second batch, but my plastic container is not as fun to look at!

A glass jar full of ice is quite well insulated!  This is what it looked like after a whole night of melting.  I put it in front of a space heater to help the ice finish melting. 

Here is the before and after of batch #2.

And the results....

Batch #1 in the glass jar.  (The fabrics are out of order in this picture. Fabric in the top of the picture was on the bottom of the jar, then top layer, middle)  Dyes used were bottom : red/cerulean blue, top layer: raspberry/golden yellow. middle: purple/navy.

And batch #2 in the plastic.  Bottom layer: royal/bright yellow, Middle: orange/burgundy, Top: cerulean blue/golden yellow.

The fabric at the bottom had some white spots, so I may try adding some ice and dye to the bottom of the jar first next time.  I also might put a little shaved ice on top of the dye powder to limit the intense blobs of color that happened in a few spots.  Overall I am very pleased with my first go at this.  These are my two favorites with some close ups of the texture that the ice creates.


If you are a fabric dyer and have the supplies at your house, give it a try it is quite a lot of fun!


  1. What do you enjoy more--snow dyeing or ice parfait? It is warmer to make ice than gather snow. :)

  2. I loved this way of dye fabric. Thanks for sharing.

  3. So going to try this. I have some fabric already soaked in soda ash just waiting for a dying project. Just called my mother in law for a glass jar. Sooooooo I'm already to try this over the weekend, so I can watch it melt. Thanks so much for the post. I love trying new things like this.

  4. Your dying process is fascinating. Is there anywhere special you purchase your soda ash and the MX dye powder? Please advise.

    1. I buy my stuff from dharma trading company

  5. How stunning!
    Have to try this, thanks for sharing.

  6. Love this technique. I must give it a try. Your pieces came out beautifully.

  7. Just finished a batch of wool with Teal, Evening Blue and Purple, loved it so much, just started another batch of wool with Mulberry, Plum and Wine. Can't wait to see it! Thanks for sharing.

  8. With a bad health condition, I'm in the hospital frequently. Himself has to take everything I've used and not emptied which includes the washed and dried wash basin. I use the wash basins for Ice Dyeing Fabrics. I don't need the screens, I just set them out on the deck with something over the top to keep bugs and bird droppings out.
    I also don't like the thought of birds or squirrels drinking the water with the dye in it.
    thank you so very much for all the help you have given us.

  9. Does anyone know if you can do this project using tulip tie dye