RA Projects: How to Ice Dye

Posted by: Nellie Laskow

Last summer we tried our hands at ice dyeing for the first time (see above and below). We had no idea that the results would be so beautiful! So this summer we decided we needed to try it again. Learn how to ice dye below and make sure to follow us on Instagram to see the results!

Ice Dyeing Fabric

 1. Soak your fabric in soda ash and water (1 cup per gallon of water) for 15 minutes.
Soda ash acts as a fixative, making the dye permanent.

Dye Pot

2. Pick out what dyes you'd like to use. We did a warm color story and a cool color story.  We recommend fiber reactive dye from Dharma Trading Co or Pro Chemical.


3. Squeeze out your fabric thoroughly so it's damp not wet.

4. Set a baking rack on top of a washtub or pan
(don’t use anything you cook with).

5. Scrunch your fabric on top of the rack.
Don't stack it too high or the dye won't get to it as well.

Ice Dyeing Rebecca Atwood

 6. Place ice on top of the fabric. Make sure to cover it completely. 

Ice Dyeing Rebecca Atwood

 7. Sprinkle dye over top of the ice with a spoon (again, don't use anything you eat with). Make sure to get a good amount of coverage but don't overlap too many colors. 

Rebecca Atwood Ice Dyeing

Ice Dyeing Rebecca Atwood

8. Allow ice to melt completely overnight.
It can get messy as it melts so move to a safe area.

9. Rinse the fabric and enjoy!

 Be sure to follow along on our Instagram to see more and tag us if you try ice dyeing yourself. Rebecca even brought home our ice dyeing experiment and used it as a runner!

Ice Dye Runner

Have you ever ice dyed or know of any other interesting ways to dye fabric? Let us know in the comments below.


  • Are regular dyes going to work just as well? Such as Rit DyeMore brand? It’s synthetic fiber dye. Thanks!

    Kelsey Crandall on
  • I was wondering if you could use regular tie dye for this method?

    SElena on
  • wow this turned out beautiful! can you tell me what colors you used for the dyes for the purple/plums? do you use the powder extracts? Thanks!

    allison on
  • Pretty. www.rsrue.blogspot.com

    Regine Karpel on

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published