Is their a substitute for soda ash in tie dying ?
Neither sodium bicarbonate, baking soda, nor sodium chloride, table salt, will substitute for soda ash, sodium carbonate. However, you can buy sodium carbonate fairly easily: as washing soda in the laundry aisle (Arm and Hammer Washing Soda is a fairly common brand in the US), or a pH regulating chemical in a pool and spa supply store… common brand is pH UP. Not all dyes used for tie dyeing require sodium carbonate, so examine the information that came with your dyes carefully. Procion MX is one of the more common dyes that does require sodium carbonate.