Cotton Spandex French Terry - Ice Dye

Today I am here to show you how to ice dye fabric! Tie dye has become super trendy and I wanted in on the fun but I couldn’t find it on a fabric base that I loved. So I decided to do it myself! I stumbled across ice dying on Pinterest and I loved the organic look and feel of ice dye over traditional tie dye.

In order to ice dye fabric here’s what you need:

  • Ice
  • Rit Powder Dye (I used royal blue)
  • A rack 
  • Disposable tins
  • Natural fiber fabric (No Polyester!)
  • Rit Colorstay Dye Fixative (optional)
  • Bin to soak the fabric in (optional)

I am a die hard fan of Surge’s Cotton French Terry. It is soft and cozy but still sturdy enough not to pill and is perfect for lounge wear. Cotton lycra would also work for this project. I chose to cut and sew my pieces before dyeing because they would be easier to handle than trying to work with the whole 4 yard cut I ordered. I used the  Made For Mermaids Women’s Stella Off The Shoulder Top and Lexi Joggers for my patterns. Once your items are sewn you’re ready to get started! 

Place the wire racks over the disposable tins so the tins will catch the drips and your fabric isn’t sitting in a pool of dye.

Wet your fabric and then wring it out so that it is damp.

Arrange the damp pieces on the racks. I twisted each piece into a long snake and then wound  it an S pattern on the racks. How you place the fabric on the rack does effect the final results. You can ball it up, twist it, or pleat it to get different patterns. 

Pour the ice over your fabric bundles. You can use ice from a bag or your freezer. 

Use a spoon and sprinkle the powder onto the ice. A little dye goes a long way so don’t be tempted to dump!

Let the ice melt! Keep and eye on your project and make sure the water doesn’t reach the fabric or it will turn it muddy!

Once your ice has melted, you need to rinse your fabric. I left the fabric on the rack and used my shower head to rinse with cool water until the water ran clear. 

Optional: Fix the color with Rit’s ColorStay Dye Fixative. The fixative is meant to reduce bleeding, fading and enhance color. The directions on the bottle say to use before rinsing, but I was afraid this would mess up the light/white areas, so I rinsed first. The official directions also state “For every pound of dry fabric, use 4 ounces of ColorStay Dye Fixative with 3 gallons of water.” I however am reckless and decided to just eyeball it. I stirred the fabric on and off for 20 minutes and then gave it another rinse in cool water. I hung my garments up to dry (I don’t have a dryer).

And that’s it! I’m super happy with how my pieces came out. If you give this a shot, please post in Surge’s Facebook group, I would love to see!!!!

About the author: Dana Miller is just a girl living, sewing, painting, cooking, and teaching in NYC. She can be found on instagram @Ms_Dana or at DanaMillerOnline.com.

3 comments
Kyema June 23, 2020

Gorgeous results! Can’t wait to try this for myself!

Nicole Martin Schallhorn June 23, 2020

Great explanation! I’m definitely trying this!

Angel rose June 23, 2020

This is awesome, thanks for sharing!

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