Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ice dyeing with RIT dyes

 When the summer days heat up beyond my comfort level, I head out to the back yard to play with water.
I wanted to sneak in a little 'play' time, between summer travels and visiting relatives.

After reading Carol Ludington's article "dye your own iced parfait " in the June/July Quilting Arts magazine,
I was ready to experiment with a different dye source than what was used for the article.

I have found that you can get some amazing results by ice dyeing using RIT dyes!

I got set up, outside in my backyard, using just a few supplies.
Since I was going to use the RIT product and not Procion dyes, as Carol did, I did not need the soda
ash, dust mask, or the Synthrapol.

As in Carol's article, I started with six - prepared for dying fabric fat quarters. That is,
I washed them in the washing machine and set the machine for an extra rinse. I did not use fabric softener.
While they were still wet, I removed the fat quarters from the washing machine, and took them outside.
Using a parfait bowl for my dye container, I crumpled up three of the six fat quarters and placed them in the bottom of the parfait bowl.
Next, I added a single layer of ice cubes.
Using four boxes of powdered RIT dye, I sprinkled a little bit (about 1 teaspoon of each) on to the layer of ice cubes. I also added some salt, as stated in the directions for using the RIT with cottons. 
I was trying to use up some older boxes of the RIT that I had acquired from my mom many years ago.
Yes, if you look closely you can see that the price tag on this 'Golden Yellow' box of RIT dye is marked:
Woolworth    $ .46 
Then, I repeated the process to complete a second layer. Placing the entire parfait bowl into a water bath canning tub, to collect any run-over, I put the lid on and left it in the back yard overnight.

This morning, I removed the lid and started rinsing the pieces of fabric until the water ran clear. 
After washing them in a warm short cycle with mild laundry detergent, they were ready to hang up to dry.

I've used a similar method before for dyeing fabrics with this product and have found that they are just as color-safe as if using other fabric dyes, and much less fuss.
I experimented with a number of different recycled fabrics which included a nylon sheer, a pair of cut-up wool trousers lined with a synthetic fiber, and part of an old cotton bed sheet.
For dyeing the nylon and wool, I added the equivalence of 1 cup vinegar per package to my dye bath instead of the salt.
A good pressing heat sets everything.

No comments:

Post a Comment