Freeze Dye – The Results

It was a long day, waiting for the dye to set.  We didn’t wait an entire 24 hours – more like 22.  You don’t have any idea how it’s going to come out until it’s washed, dried and ironed, and we were keen to get started.

We did a quick rinse of each fabric, then swished each piece around in water with a bit of Synthrapol.  Squeezed them out a bit, and popped them in the washing machine, with 2 capfuls more of Synthrapol.  Hot wash, double rinse cycle, cold rinse, and we threw in a Dye Catcher sheet.  Then, the dryer. Then – the most important part – we ironed them.  There’s something about taking a hot iron to your new hand-dyes that really brings out the character of them.

Our colours are Procion dyes from Dharma:  sage green, fire red, lemon yellow, golden yellow and cerulean blue.

And – TA DAAAAA! – here are the results of our work:

Accordion folded, then folded in half and quarters, held with rubber bands. Red with golden yellow dye.

Loosely twisted from 2 corners. Fire red and golden yellow.

Double spiral fold, loosely held with rubber band. Fire red with moss green and lemon yellow.

Folded in eighths, loosely folded along wedge. Cerulean blue with sage green.

Held in the middle and twisted. Fire red and cerulean blue.

Fire. Scrunched loosely. Fire red and golden yellow.

Simple spiral from the centre, held in place with rubber bands. Overlapping thirds - lemon yellow, fire red, and cerulean blue.

Scrunched fabric. A lot of fire red with a little cerulean blue after the red had started to soak through.

Dry fabric with soda ash added in baggie, loosely scrunched. Pure moss green. This one was not frozen.

Dry fabric, scrunched loosely, soda ash added after 30 minutes. Leftovers of mostly cerulean blue and some lemon yellow. This one wasn't frozen either.

Dry fabric, soda ash added to baggie 30 minutes after. Fire red and a little bit of lemon yellow afterwards. This one wasn't frozen.

So, what did we learn about freezer dyeing?  We learned that if your fabric is too tightly folded, there won’t be good migration of the dye as it defrosts, leading to leftover white.  That’s not always a bad thing, just so you know.

The scrunches worked really well – they are our favourite pieces.  Also, using really concentrated dyes meant that we had vibrant colour at the end.  The Urea probably had something to do with that too.  Some people use salt to achieve a similar brightness.

We love the crystal effect on some of the pieces, and that is definitely a result of freezing the fabric beforehand.  Even though the pieces thawed relatively quickly, we still had lots of crystal action.

Thanks Wendy for a most marvellous time in your garage!  I’m going to try this again sometime.

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9 Responses to “Freeze Dye – The Results”

  1. Sue Says:

    Great results…do you know how hard I tried to get a good clear red? Many shades of pinks and oranges but none looked as clear as that last pic. Grrrrr!

    • singingquilter Says:

      It really is a beautiful, bright red, Sue – we used Fire Red colour, 1 tsp/cup of water, soda ash and urea. It was done in a baggie, with dry fabric. Try it and see if this works better!

    • Wendy Says:

      Hi Sue! The more you knead the fabric, the clearer the color. I recently dyed 13 reds for a project (yes, 13). I started with water dampened fabric in a zippered plastic bag. Keep the dye concentrated (1-1 .5 tsp dye to 1 cup water – 1 tsp urea in a cup of water to mix the dye– mixed well). Add to the damp fabric and knead in the baggie for a few minutes. Sometimes I actually reach in the bag and knead (wear gloves!)….. wait at least 30 minutes before adding the soda ash. Then knead some more. Just keep mashing the fabric! Good luck!

  2. Jennifer Says:

    Love the results! Any plans to use them yet?

  3. labananJan Says:

    Wow! This looks like fun…could’ve used this when we did The Dream Children!
    I love the second to last one – so moody.

  4. Judy Sall Says:

    Soo…… did Wendy invite you to come to our dye class in August? We’ll be having lots of fun! But if you can’t make it, I’m sure Wendy will post pix, and I will too!
    Judy Sall
    aka tiedyejudy

  5. Kelly Smith Says:

    Very cool! I may have to try this. 🙂

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