I purchased Dharma Trading Fiber Reactive Procion Dyes in 4 colors. I knew I just wanted to test out how to ice dye, so I didn't want to spend a lot of money.
The dyes arrived in larger containers than I thought. I was expecting a little larger than nail polish size containers, and what I got was Nutella sized containers. Great! More for me to experiment with!!! The lids were taped shut with black electrical-like tape. So I removed the tape from all 4 jars and set them aside to get my ribbon and ice ready.
I already had one of the large aluminum pans and the cookie cooling rack. Luckily, the cooling rack fit perfectly into the aluminum pan. So I unrolled about 20 yards of ribbon and put in on the cookie rack. What I failed to consider was the size of brackets in the cookie rack. Each was approximately 1/2 inch apart... which was exactly the width of my ribbon. But I piled the ribbon on to minimize how much fell through.
Then I grabbed the ice bucket thingy from the freezer. I used regular ice maker ice and covered every inch of the ribbon as best I could. Then I chose three of the colors and sprinkled each, one at a time, over the ice. Then very carefully took it outside. I knew the ice would melt much faster in 85-90 degree temps.
Here's what it looked like:
After about an hour, I went out to check on it. Here's where it was then:
After about 2.5-3 hours the majority of the ice had melted so I brought it in and use the hair dryer to melt the remaining pieces of ice. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THAT! The hair dryer blew the tiny ice chunks around. So I left it alone for another 15 minutes and then poured out the colored water.
I put my gloves on and rung out the ribbon as best I could. I did NOT rinse it. I wanted to see what it looked like and how well the color held without rinsing. Then I used my heat tool to dry it. The results:
I'm pleased with the way it turned out. It's very vibrant and pretty.
A few things I learned:
- If dyeing ribbon, make sure to use something small enough that allows the water to fall into the container below the ribbon but wide enough that you don't have ribbon falling into the water too.
- Use colors that differ enough from one another that you can easily tell the difference.
- Try to have patience and let the ice melt thoroughly. Don't be like me and try to help it along with a hair dryer!
- I did feel like I wasted a lot of the powder dye, so if I continue dyeing this way, I'll experiment with different amounts of dye. Seems like a little goes a long way.
See y'all later!