HGC Summer 2019 Part 1 – Ice Dyeing in Lismore

October already?

Time to reflect on the busy summer we’ve had.

HGC 2019 Dyeing Day held on 20th July 2019 in Lismore

Unlike in previous years, our dyeing day took place in July rather than June.  Hosted by Lora and her family at their home in Lismore it was an exceptional day from start to finish.  Lora and her family put a great deal of time and energy into preparing a safe and ideal environment for us all to enjoy the ice-dyeing activity, for making tea and coffee available throughout the day and setting up a buffet space for a wonderful feast of a picnic. 

Members travelled from far and wide to arrive at 11 am. Liz, Heather, Mary, Patricia, Maureen, Fiona, Edwina, Lucy, Gwen, Margaret, Frances, Olwyn, Tish, Ger, Yvonne, Suzanne, Joan and Gerda carpooled and everyone arrived safely, bringing with them a savoury, or sweet, dish organised by Lora beforehand via our group WhatsApp. 

Meet & Greet

As each car full arrived, we were delighted at the beauty of the countryside around us. Reconnecting, and greeting, each one popped their picnic contribution in the buffet area, their 100% cotton item into a Soda Ash bath to soak for half an hour before dyeing and then relaxed and chatted over a cuppa.


Lora (and family) had arranged a comfortable seating area – a length of tables and chairs undercover. Once everyone was seated, Lora underlined the necessary Health and Safety requirements, followed by an introduction to Ice-Dyeing. As is her custom, Lora put a lot of time into exploring the possibilities of Ice-Dyeing, talked us through these and showed us an example of each technique. 

Previously, via HGC WhatsApp group, Lora sent us the options of dye colours. Each person was asked to choose three colours which they wished to use on their cotton fabric. We each were given our choice of colours in a tiny brown envelope with our name on it, in which the dye powders were prepacked in teeny plastic bags. All this was a result of Lora’s phenomenal research and planning, alleviating excess waste, majorly contributing to the smooth running of the activity and, most notably Health & Safety – the minimising of potentially toxic material in our working environment. 

Donning our Masks & Large Stainless-Steel Trays!

Lora had a collection of large stainless-steel roasting catering trays which came in two parts, a top tray with holes and bottom to catch the liquid. These were PERFECT for ice-dying. So with masks and rubber gloves donned, we rescued our fabric item from the Soda Ash bucket, squeezing out excess liquid. 

Depending on which technique we preferred, we folded, scrunched or tied our item, set it in a tray, piled a mountain of ice-cubes on top of it, sprinkled it with our packets of dye and placed it on the patio area in the sun – yes, we had sun, initially hesitant to come out but later beat down on our ice, melting it beautifully and we eagerly kept an eye on it.


Once we thoroughly cleaned and tidied up after our dyeing session, it was time to eat. And, wow, what a feast! All our contributions put together made an amazing spread which was immensely enjoyed as we sat together nattering. After seconds and thirds of savoury and sweet, Lora chaired a very satisfying business meeting.

The Moment of Reckoning

The ice had melted. Each tray displayed colourful little bundles. The moment everyone was waiting for. In an excited frenzy, we all put on our gloves again, found our soggy clump and began gingerly ringing it out. As we unfurled our cotton items, there were exclamations of surprise and delight, as we were thrilled by the profusion of colour and amazing results. Photos were taken and everyone went home very satisfied after an incredible day of dyeing.

Author: LeftFootDaisy

I love fibre and it's my mission to play with as much of it as I can. Spinnig, dyeing, weaving, knitting, crochet & sewing.

3 thoughts on “HGC Summer 2019 Part 1 – Ice Dyeing in Lismore”

  1. Hi Lorna, I would really appreciate hearing about these events beforehand. I look forward to meeting in Bishopstown next week. Niamh Ní Lochlainn.


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