Introduction: Ice Dyeing

About: Porklips? What are those? Those people, are lips that have let pork come near enough to leave oily juices. Something that I am not fond of. The flavor of anyway. That is how the name pork lips came about. My h…

This is about using ice to dye fabric to create a watercolor effect. I am using a vintage tablecloth that is stained. I really like it as is, but the hand embroidery is coming loose in some places and I didn't want to work to get the old stains out. And who wants a boring white tablecloth anyway? I was originally going to do this in the yard on a decorative table that had cutouts, but ended up using a folded dog kennel over a cat box. Basically, any screenish thing in the yard or over a container will work, use your noggin here.


Cotton fabric
Powdered dye

Step 1: Get It Together

Outside is the best place to do this, but it began raining, so I moved inside.
First I wet my fabric till it was, well, wet, then I scrunched it up with as many wrinkles as I could get. Next time I will make it a bit tighter so that it will add more "waves" of color variation.

Step 2: Ice, Ice Baby!

Put ice on it! I used as much ice as would stay on top of the fabric.

Step 3: Dye It

I sprinkled the powdered dye in stripes over the ice. You could sprinkle randomly, but whatever you do, put lots on there. I used several different brands and it all worked out the same. I got all these on clearance so I used them.

Step 4: Wait

I left the ice to melt and the dye to set for about 7 hrs. You could leave it overnight, but I like my gratification as soon as possible. I then rinsed out the table cloth in a sink then washed it in the washing machine.

Step 5: Done

So after drying it in the dryer, I'm all done. Here is my tablecloth doing what it does best, covering my dining table. The watercolor effect is much more amazing in person and I would have scrunched it tighter to make it more dramatic, but it's all a learning process.