The Milwaukee Art Quilters

The Milwaukee Art Quilters (MArQ) make contemporary art quilts, pursue exhibit and competition opportunities, and support each other’s artistic growth.

Nancy Kimpel – Freeze Dyeing

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Nancy is our current featured artist. She not only makes wonderful fiber art, but enjoys creating complex cloth. Here are her simple instructions for a process she calls:

Freeze Dyeing

Do you like the appearance of snow dyed fabric and lament that it can only be done in winter?  Not to fear, you can still do this kind of thing in our hot/humid summers.


  • Prepared For Dyeing (PFD) fabric that can be dyed with MX dyes
  • MX dye stock solutions  in the colors of your choice
  • Soda ash prepared as per manufacturers directions
  • Flat tray or container


1.  Soak fabric in soda ash for ½ hour

2.  Squeeze out excess liquid, do not wring tightly

3.  Arrange fabric in the bottom of your tray and artfully crumple

4.  Place in freezer until completely frozen-overnight is great

frozen fabric

5.  Prepare dyes in the desired colors and depth of shade. Your dye will be less dark in value once done because of the dilution factor of the soda ash.

6.  Remove tray of fabric from freezer and immediately add color.

dye added

7.  Pour or squirt dye over your fabric in random patterns. Apply reds last since it strikes the fabric the first.

8.  You don’t need to drown the fabric in dye but put enough on to color most of the fabric. Color will seep through the fabric as time passes and the fabric thaws

9.  Let incubate overnight at a 70 degree temperature or greater.

after overnight batching

10.  Remove fabric from container and rinse/wash out until water runs clear.

post wash out

11.  ENJOY!

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