Sunday, 5 February 2012

Let It Snow-Dye

Today I awoke to the pile of snow that was forecast, about 6", the poor birds must have chilly tummies from walking through the snow.
I decided to give snow-dyeing a try.  I've never done it before but have seen some interesting results.  I had a quick Google and found some tutorials, I used this straightforward one from Lucy.  I also read this more detailed one from Prochemical & Dye.
My amazing DH found some soda ash in the garage - I think he has everything one could possibly want in the garage, just not always sure where exactly.
The fabric soaked in the soda ash (1/3 cup), salt (1/2 cup) and hot water bath for half an hour.  Then I packed it in plastic boxes with snow and the fun part began.
I used Procion dyes, in powder form, and sat the concoctions on the woodburner the let the snow melt and the magic happen.
 While I was using the kitchen as a dye-house I unwrapped my steamed poinsettia:
Hmmm, another sludgy brown piece, the red that seemed to be seeping through has vanished.  Never mind, onward and upward!
As the snow melted I wondered whether I should start draining the pieces, or they would end up with everything the same colour.  I noticed from various blogs that some people dye on a grid or mesh or slope their containers so I imagine this is for that reason.
This piece was not drained and so all the dyes have mixed, quite a nice orange though!  The others were similar so I tried dyeing them again, this time on a wire cooling tray.
 When the snow had melted I rinsed my pieces of fabric and, tah-dah:

Not bad for a first attempt.  I think I should have scrunched or tied the fabric more tightly maybe and definitely the wire grid is the way to go.  I also think I could have left it outside to get the fabric and dye really cold rather than rushing the process.  More playing another day I think and I can certainly see myself using these pieces for a little project.


  1. What a good result for first time. I am also thinking of trying dying.Had no idea snow could be used.

  2. How fun to use snow! It ain't just for skiing anymore.

  3. I've been snow dyeing today too Lis but haven't washed mine out yet, apart from a couple of pieces of silk noil that I tried for the first time. I find that it is definitely best to put the fabric on a rack so that it doesn't sit in the dye as the snow melts. You have got some beautiful colour blends here and I bet you had fun :-) You'll probably be surprised again if you iron the fabric as that reveal all the beautiful marks. If we get any more snow this year I would try letting the snow melt naturally rather than heating it on the stove so that it has time to wick through the fabric and make patterns. Having said that I do tend to bring the bowls into the conservatory if it's a very cold day but I don't bring it into the warm house until the bulk of the dye has struck.

  4. Never heard of snow dyeing until now... guess that's because we rarely get snow... Lol I think your results are great though

  5. Didn't know you could dye with snow. Hubby has just been watching some of the Premier matches with glee as he sits in his shorts with a beer! We definitely don't miss the winter weather. Hope A is feeling better after his op. Hugs!

  6. Good job Lis, you are a woman of my heart. Make the most of the environment around you, that what I do with our eucalyptus leaves! I love the results Lis, imagine combining them with indigo fabric. Cynthia and I used to dyed lots with Procion powder. It's fun isn't it? I like the piece with poinsettia too, a true eco-dyed piece - Hugs Nat

  7. I bought some dyes and other necessities, but haven't used them yet. If we get some snow, maybe I'll give it a try.

  8. What an amazing way to dye, my fingers are burning for the need to put stitches on your cloth!


I really appreciate your lovely comments, ideas and opinions, they make my day. Thank you for visiting Piece'n'Peace,
hugs, Lis x