The little fridge is not for beer


Well I got this little fridge a while back to store dye concentrates and alginate print paste. It all lasts so much longer when it’s kept cold. For a while I was putting it all in the big fridge in the kitchen – but well – it was just too stressful. The dye looks like a fabulous summer drink and the alginate looks a lot like honey.


This book is an incredible resource if you are mixing dye colors and want to get consistent results. Consistency is not that important to me, but it is so convenient to mix up these concentrates in advance for dye day.

bookThe process goes something like this-

I used 4 Tablespoons of dry procion dye powder to 4 cups of water. I mixed all the dye into 2 cups and then put the lid on, shook it up and when it was all dissolved added the rest of the water. Yellow always seems to settle to the bottom and the reds take some time to dissolve.

aren’t they pretty?dyesnow fill up a 1 gallon size zip lock bag with about a cup of water. If you want to add a Tablespoon of salt go ahead.

bagh2oThen just a spoon of dye and the piece. I used 1 tablespoon of the concentrate for about a quarter yard of silk velvet.spoonThen Squish!squishI put a damp piece of paper towel down when I mix up the powdered dye with the water. The damp towel grabs the powder right from the air. But you will still want to use a mask!You really want to use this!
Now add the soda ash to activate the dye.

1 Tablespoon per cup or a little less

1 Tablespoon per cup or a little less

To make the solution mix about 1/4 cup soda ash to 1 quart of water. Add a few tablespoons of the solution to the bag and just let it sit for at least 4 hours. I think overnight is best because the extra dye comes out much easier. It’s true that most of the dyeing happens in a few minutes after adding the soda ash solution- but I notice that the extra dye just keeps bleeding from the piece unless you let it sit awhile.

The results are in:lineFor the multi colors, start with the lightest and add each darker color after 15 minutes or so. Always add a Tablespoon of soda solution after ever color you add to the dyepot (zip loc bag) If you want separate distinct colors, don’t agitate as much or even at all.

Have fun!!


About Marjorie

I dye, print and sell my work here:
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8 Responses to The little fridge is not for beer

  1. Guila Greer says:

    Been needing a little fridge for extra cold drinks – now an even better reason to get one!
    How long can you keep your dye concentrate solution in there ? Over time will it lose its potency ? Or just become a penicillin experiment.

    • marjorie says:

      It lasts a while! at least a month maybe longer. Yes it fades over time but not as much as I thought it would. I also keep my photo emulsion for screen printing and my alginate. Both of those last for months and months in the fridge. But left on the counter the alginate get ammonia smelling in less than a week and photo emulsion lasts about 30 days. I think it has been a great investment!

      • Guila Greer says:

        oh that’s great to hear. I want to start doing some painting with thickened dyes and know I’ll end up with leftovers. Even more incentive now to get that garage cleaned out of the apcray 🙂

  2. Pamela says:

    Your own fridge makes you a winner….and I like your dyeing process ..very colourful way to be organised. Have fun.

  3. I am another one with a dye fridge! 🙂

  4. Vernon says:

    So…where do you keep your beer?

  5. Donna says:

    Love the results ! So pretty!

  6. Deb says:

    I have a dye fridge too!

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