Saturday, July 5, 2014

Back to Ice Dyeing!!

Well, I can't stay away!!  I found my favorite Basic Edition t-shirts at KMart in my size and decided I needed some new colors of tshirts.  This is one of the tshirts, folded in fours and scrunched up on top of a cookie rack over a plastic bin.  They have been soaked in a soda ash solution for 15 minutes.  I then squeeze out the excess and arrange the tshirts.  The soda ash solution is 1/2 cup soda ash to 1 gallon of water.

 This is a second scrunched tshirt -- scrunched overall.
These are two shirts, accordion folded and then twisted into a spiral.

 This is the all-over scrunched tshirt with the layer of ice cubes and then the dyes are liberally sprinkled on top.  The colors I used for this were ProChem's grape and intense blue as I just wanted to see these colors together.  I added a little turquoise in as well.

These are the two spirals with their dyes (same colors) applied.  The grape stayed kind of clumpy and didn't melt for a long time.  The intense blue literally sprinkled.  I think it is because there is a filler in the intense blue.

This was the spirals after about 2 hours of sitting.  There is still a little color left in the ice.

These are the spirals right before I take the next step -- this was about 3 1/2 hours after I started.  I use very cold ice cubes frozen in my chest freezer which gets things colder than my fridge freezer.  You can see there is no color left in the ice so I call it "done".

My next step is to take each individual tshirt and keep it wound or scrunched as it is and put it in a plastic tray with a styrofoam plate covering it and put it in my studio microwave for 4 min.  I fill up two 4 gallon pails with warmish water while I am waiting for each tshirt.  I rinse in each tshirt in each of the two pails (I change the water in the first pot between each tshirt, ie for the second shirt I use the pot I used second for the first tshirt which doesn't have as much color and then for the second rinse, I use the clean water.)  Especially for turquoise and the other blues, this microwave step assures good strong color -- these Procion MX dyes are "cold water" dyes but heat really speeds up the process and it is my "make sure" step.  There was an article some time ago  in Quilting Arts magazine that showed what happens with turquoise if you don't apply some heat at some point in the process --- very little color.

The last step is to wash in the washing machine for at least 30 minutes using the hottest water you can and Synthrapol and then rinse twice.  Sometimes I do this process twice depending on the colors - reds are particularly hard to get out.  Synthrapol is a strong detergent/surfactant.

This is one of the two spiral tshirts.  I do like the colors and the color seems to go all the way through as this was the first time I had tried this approach.

I am liking the grape a lot but will have to do my accordion folds a little more evenly I think!!

 This is the overall scrunched tshirt above.

This is the scrunched tshirt that was folded in fourths.  I do like the combination of the intense blue and grape.

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