Friday, July 29, 2016

Another Day of Ice Dyeing -- the Process Illustrated

You can see that I again stacked the mandalas as I really like the subtle differences and as I used less dye and some lighter values, they came out pretty good! I am sure now that the one on the left is the one on top and the one on the right is on the bottom.  It was easy to sort them out last night as they were all so different.  Note that these haven't been ironed yet!

The post today will be a relatively detailed description of how I do these.  This is one of the tshirts lying across a relatively flat surface before I start "pleating".

Here I have almost finished the pleating process.  I start at the lower left hand corner and just use my fingers to.gather up the garment on the diagonal. One is reversed as I did it inside out!!

All gathered up and now I spiral it.

Two spiraled t-shirts sitting on the drop cloth which is on grate suspended over a plastic box.  I did four t-shirts altogether yesterday.

Here you can see four mandalas altogether.  There are two in each half of this square (really looks more like a rectangle as I didn't cut as even as I could have!).

This is what the t-shirts look like after I have applied the ice and the dyes.  Used here were sun yellow, grass green, leaf green and some dark green (which is very very dark I have discovered).

This is one set of mandalas covered with the ice and dye.  Lots of yellow here.

This is mandalas after 2 1/2 hours.

These are the t-shirts after 2 1/2 hours.

These are the mandalas after five hours.

T-shirts at five hours.  The ice is almost all melted.  Note that a lot of the yellow is still in powdery form.

These are the mandalas right before I start washing -- this was about 7 hours later.  I do these in my basement which is relatively cool.

These are the t-shirts before washing.

Before I do the washing, I nuke each of the t-shirts for about four minutes and do the same for the mandalas (although I group the mandalas and do 4 at a time).  I do the same with the drop cloths.  Just want to get them nice and warm to make sure the dye is set.

I then unfold and rinse in cold water getting a lot of the dye out and hopefully most of the soda ash.  I then dunk them in quite warm water, swishing them around to get out as much dye as possible.  (The water will look very dark.)  I change up the two waters after two t-shirts.  I then thrown them all into a bucket and cart them to the washing machine for final washing.  I use the hottest water I can in my washer and add Synthrapol.  I also make sure I am using the maximum load size.  The rinse water is warm.  After this wash, I remove them and get all the strings that have tied them all up off and look at them as this is probably what they will look like.  I then repeat the wash/rinse process one more time.  I always tell people to make sure they wash before using as well as they may have a hotter wash cycle and potentially could get some more dye out.  The dye that is left is really a stain and no longer active though so generally if there is some staining, a little Synthrapol will get it right out.

 These are the remaining mandalas displayed with their "partners".

 And here are the t-shirts.  The first two are Hanes x-large and the third one is a Basic Editions (K-Mart) 2x.

This is a 1x v-neck t-shirt.


Mary Koenig said...

I love your post! I have a question regarding the mandalas. You say that they are paired. Do you mean that you have 2 layers of fabric and THEN start folding? Also, your picture of the mandalas shows them lying flat. Do you spiral them similar to the t-shirts before dying, or leave them lying flat? Thanks for the tutorial!

Elizabeth said...

By pairing, I mean that I fold them and then pile then one on top of the other. I was curious as to what would happen. It also helped me finally determine that the ones closest to the ice melting had the most paler or whiter areas which makes sense. I do not spiral them like the tshirts but am thinking of doing that with some accordion folded fabric. The biggest time consumer will be getting those folds nice and even as having nicely folded and evenly folded fabric is an important part of getting nice even patterning.

mandibularfossa said...

Thanks for taking the time to document this! Do you ever dye fabric in this way and use it for quilting?

Elizabeth said...

Yes, I have made several quilts with these fabrics and am trying to come up with new patterns. If you look at one of my more recent entries, you will see at least one idea for new quilt.

Elizabeth said...

If you click on the label that says mandala quilts on the left side of the blog (web version),you will see several quilts as well as the above idea.