Ice Dyeing involves using Ice to determine the pattern the dye makes. You can practice this technique on any fiber that dyes well using Fiber Reactive dyes. The key is to choose fibers that take dye well when heat is not involved, as the technique relies on melting ice to activate the dye.
I mostly use cottons in my Ice Dyed pieces. I love the crisp lines and delineations I can get with cottons. I’ve done some ice dyeing using rayons, and I’ve seen ice dyed silks by Sheryl LeBlanc that are quite beautiful. There’s a reasonable range of potential in terms of the fiber element in Ice Dyeing.
Many artists suggest the size and shape of the ice you choose matters. I have’t yet dyed enough to confirm or deny it. I tend to use the ice that’s available most readily when I’m planning to do a dyeing session. I typically dye in the hot months of summer, August and September in my area. I like to use the garden wall just off my patio for letting the ice and dye work their magic.
While I do a fair share of ice dyeing for fun, I’ve only done a few actual Ice Dye Series pieces. For those series, I choose a focus theme and let my Muse guide me in all aspects of the process. My intention is to eventually turn them into whole-cloth works, to sell some of them, or to design smaller series from them similar to the Divine Egypt’s Fire series.