Ice Dyeing: Batching in the sun

What about batching ice dyeing in the sun instead of waiting 20 to 24 hours?

I really like to give the fiber reactive dyes lots of time to work. I usually let them batch (sit) for 20 – 24 hours. However, due to several students of my Icy Delights online class asking about sun batching, I thought I’d do a couple experiments.

I found that in the hot sun, it takes about two hours for the ice to melt.

I wanted to compare these fabrics batched for only two hours in the sun to the ones that sit in the garage for around 24 hours. I’m using the exact same fabric and size (fat quarter), and amount of dye.

Here are my results:

The Brazil Nut test shows the sun batched piece as faded.

However, the lavender doesn’t show as much difference in waiting the extra hours. This may be due to the red in the dye. Red strikes first on the fabric while other colors take their time dyeing the fabric. Since blue takes longer to dye, you see less blue on the sun-batched piece.

My last test is this piece with three colors: Antique Gold, Eggplant, and Dancing with Raisins. All of the colors are pretty washed out in the sun batching compared to the 24-hour batch.

So in my limited experiment, I found that when compared to the regular batch, the sun-batched pieces colors appeared washed out or muted. However, the lavender sun-batched piece was almost as pretty as the regular batch except for less blue.

For me, it’s not worth saving time for the muted results. It’s also a waste of the dye to not allow it to completely color the fabric. Of course, if the fabric had been sun batched longer than two hours, it might give a better result. It was an interesting experiment.

Something new I have wanted to try lately is acrylic pouring. I saw a video and just had to try it.  It reminds me of marbling. I didn’t get the cells I wanted, but that will come with more practice. I really like the texture.

Hope you are having a good Sunday. Thanks for dropping by.








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