Grey's & Blacks while Ice dyeing
  • Hello Everyone!

    I recently bought two procion MX dyes in jet black and warm black and did some ice dyeing hoping it would give me a watercolour effect in smokey colours. It came out in dark blues and purples with specks of bright red and yellow. Is there anyway I can do this method and get pure blacks and greys?

    Thank you.
  • Hi LB,

    What you are seeing are the components of the dye colors. Our Color Info chart ( will give you a bit more info, but essentially what you are seeing are the colors that make up the different dyes.
    Nancy Wick, a Textile Artist notes that she uses black or brown for just this reason.

  • Thanks,
    I understand why the colours appeared, but I am interested in creating ice dye with only greys and blacks. Would ice dyeing work if i mixed the powder with some water to create a paste and then apply on the ice? I am guessing this way all the colours would mix into the black or grey shade it is intended to before applying it onto the ice?
  • That might work. You'd want to be sure your paste was well dissolved - use hot water and you'll have better luck.

  • Thanks!
    I will try that out. Hopefully it will work.
    I have a vision in my head and I just want it to work so it can come to life!
  • It did occur to me that there might be another way for you to get what you want - depending on just what that look is. Take a look at images of low water immersion dyed pieces - if that is what you are after it could be easier to use that method than the ice dye method...

  • I did another trial today with premixing the dyes and i still got deep blues and purples but I didn't get any specs of yellow and red which is closer to what I was going for. I looked up the low immersion dyes and I think its too close to tie dye look (which I do not want).
    maybe if i try using just greys?
  • Most (all?) greys are mixes so you'd have the same speckle issue unless you premixed the dyes. I also know our Pearl Grey is a very warm grey.
    One other thing that occurs to me is that you may not have a high enough concentration of dye to get to the true black you are looking for and because the method you are using allows the dyes to dilute as they penetrate you might just be up against a real hard one.
    You might want to check with Paula Burch who is one of my go-to folks when I'm stumped. You can find her here:
  • I was able to achieve a grey when ice-dyeing, by putting the prepared fabric on the bottom of my rubbermaid tub, where it caught the dripping from the ice-dyeing going on above, and also absorbed the excess liquids from below, which by that time were well blended.
    It didn't have the tie dye look or the low-immersion crystal look.
    My next ice-dye experiment is going to be making ice cubes of the dissolved dye concentrate we make for tie-dyeing or direct-application.