We had a lovely gentle snowfall the past couple of days, and I succumbed to the allure of snow dyeing. It’s been a topic on the dyer’s list and I didn’t think I’d like dyeing fabric this way. Was I ever wrong.
It’s really easy, you get wonderful colors, and surprise, surprise, the excess dye rinses out quickly and easily. This is great for the ecosystem.
I buy a lot of my dyes from ProChem – as I’m on the east coast and shipping is less expensive for me. I used grape 801, navy 412, and created a nice blue green color by using equal parts of 402 mixing blue with 108 sun yellow. The dye concentrate was 6% , and used I about 150 ml of concentrate on each batch.
A little plastic drawer with grid like openings in the bottom came in very handy. It was placed upside down in a larger plastic container to catch the melted snow/dye solution:
The fabric was scoured in Synthrapol and pretreated with soda ash, then scrunched on top of the basket. I tried to get a good 3″ of snow on top, but it was so light and fluffy, it kept on falling down the sides of the container.
The first batch was a linen/rayon blend I purchased at JoAnns – one of their 70% off bargains I purchased last summer – and I placed a scrunched layer of cheesecloth on top:
The linen/rayon blend is a hefty material, but I still got some nice crystalized sections:
And you can see the plastic basket indentions in this photo:
The second batch was a couple of yards of Osnaburg:
I used way too much dye on this. I should have left more white areas. It looks good to me, but this fabric yielded very little crystalized sections – I think because of not leaving enough white on the snow surface, and because of the fabric properties – nubby surface and thicker thread than quilting cottons.
I swear, I see a green rose in this piece. There is a light area behind it, but am I the only one who “sees” that green rose?
I also dyed some Perle cotton thread for my crazy quilt embroidery and used old men’s handkerchiefs to wipe up as I was dyeing everything. It saves on using a lot of paper towels, and I end up with some gorgeous hand dyed handkerchiefs.
I have company coming for supper tonight, but plan on trying one more batch tomorrow – this time with a fine cotton. I think I’ll get very different results, and I’ll use some different colors too.