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How to Ice Dye Technique

Ice Dye Technique

Techniques . May 26 2017 .Posted By: Admin

No need to mix up your dyes for the ultra-cool ice tie-dye technique! Let the ice do the work to produce one-of-a-kind watercolor tie-dye effects.

Ice Tie Technique lay out shirt flat

Step 1:

Wash your shirt (or other fabric item) and leave damp. You don't have to presoak your fabric in soda ash before dyeing because Tulip One-Step Tie Dye contains soda ash in the formula! Lay your damp fabric out flat on your covered work surface and decide which tie-dye technique you would like to create before adding your dyes. With the ice dye technique, the crumple tie-dye technique (shown) works great, but you can experiement with other techniques if you want. There's no wrong way to tie dye!

Ice Dye Technique scrunch up shirt

Step 2:

Scrunch your damp fabric into a crumpled mound. You can loosely crumple your fabric or really squish it tightly all together for more defined crumples.

Ice Dye Technique bind with rubber bands

Step 3:

Secure your crumpled fabric with rubber bands before tie dyeing. This will help hold those crumples together more tightly if you are trying to achieve a super defined crumple tie-dye pattern. But you don't have to secure with rubber bands for this tie-dye look; if you're trying to achieve more color flow throughout your fabric, you can leave it unbound and not scrunched as tightly together.

Ice Dye Technique lay out shirt on wire rack above tub add ice

Step 4

Place your crumpled fabric on a rack over a large plastic tub so the dye will drip down when the ice melts and not puddle under your fabric and muddy colors. Place ice cubes on top of the bound fabric, covering the fabric completely with ice.

Ice Dye Technique squeeze dye powder on ice

Step 5:

For this technique you want to use dye powder, not mixed dyes activated with water (so do not fill up your Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye bottles with water like you would normally do). Simply remove the caps and sprinkle dye powders randomly all over the mound of ice in colors of your choice. There's no strategy to it, you can sprinkle the dye powders however you like!

Ice Dye Technique let ice melt then let set

Step 6:

Now it's time to let the ice melt! This will take anywhere from several minutes to several hours based on where you live and how warm the weather is. As the ice melts, it will transfer the dye powders onto the fabric in interesting patterns. The warmer the weather, the faster your ice will melt, so if it melts quickly, place your fabric in a sealable bag and let set for 6-8 hours for the dye to completely saturate the damp fabric. If it takes 6 to 8 hours or overnight for the ice to melt, you should be fine to move on to the next step without additional wait time. 

Ice Dye Technique remove rubber bands

Step 7:

After the dye has set, remove the rubber bands if used (you might need to cut them if they're on tightly). Reveal your ice dye design, then rinse, wash and dry according to the dye instructions.

Picture of Ice Dye Technique

Now that you're a total ice tie-dye expert, check out this post featuring a roundup of some of our favorite ice tie-dye projects that'll add extra cool vibes to your summer fun.

Get the product for this technique

Extra Large Tie-Dye Kits

Kaleidoscope 12-Color Tie-Dye Kit

This tie-dye activity kit includes 12 vibrant tie-dye colors and supplies - perfect for multicolor projects, parties and other group activities!

Try these other color combinations

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