Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Snow Dying....

Seems like a long while ago now but before Christmas we had some snow, just a little. I had been intending to try out Kathy's tips and techniques for snow dying.  Well, what do you know, leading up to Christmas was a busy time?
I decided in the afternoon to collect a couple of buckets of snow ready for later in the day when I might have more time to follow through.  The snow was actually ice and I had to scrape it from the grass but I did manage to collect two buckets full which I left outside until later. I left my fabric soaking in the soda ash solution.
So, the intention is to pour the dye over the snow, the temperature of the snow slows down the dying process allowing the dye to break down into it's various mix of colours and grab to the fabric at different rates giving texture to the fabric.

By the time I was ready to proceed my snow/ice had frozen into one big ice cube, as I had already mixed my dyes all I could do was tip the ice out on top of my fabric and add my dye, the ice just sat there on top of the fabric in a big hunk!
My PFD (prepared for dying) fabric is 60" wide so I had nearly 2 yards on each tray.
I used Procion MX dyes.

Tray 1....
1 tsp currant + 1/2 tsp sodium sulphate + 1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp purple + 1/2 tsp sodium  sulphate+ 1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp cerulean blue + 1/2 tsp sodium sulphate + 1/2 cup water
I placed this fabric on a refridgerator shelt over a deep tray.

Tray 2...
1 tsp avacado + 1 tsp sodium sulphate + 1 cup water
1 tsp turquoise +1 tsp sodium sulphate + 1 cup water
This fabric was place in an open basket from a vegetable trolley over another deep tray.

You can see the extra vegetable matter collected when I had to scrape the ice from the grass....

So,  as this was around 9pm at night all I could do was leave everything here in my utility room overnight and hope that there would be no avalanch before morning and all dye solution would stay either in the trays or drain off into the sink.

I need not have worried as by morning I still had big chunks of ice but there had been some migration of dye down through the fabric....who knew my utility room was so cold through the night? So I moved my fabric through into my kitchen where it was warmer and left it there for 2/3 hours to allow the ice to melt and the fabric to warm through hoping that the colours would set.

After a good rinse until the water ran clear and then a quick wash in the machine with Retayne, here are my results.  Although not a controlled scientific experiment the results are quite interesting, I was trying to use enough dye to make sure it soaked through all of the 2 yards of fabric in each tray.  The avacado/turquoise mix is more subtle but with lots of texture.....

The currant/purple mix is more dramatic with quite a bit of solid colour (wonder whether that's the currant or the purple, I'm thinking it's the currant) but lots of interesting ice textures, there is really no white on that piece it's more pink in colour but very interesting all the same.

There didn't seem to be any difference/marks left from using the open shelf or the basket and as the dye didn't dye the veg basket maybe next time I'll try two baskets instead.
That same day the snow/ice outside thawed and we have had no more snow falls since but watch this space, now that I have a little system in place I will be having another try to see how this works with proper snow with a quicker melt time?


  1. Hi Kay, from sunny Australia. I've been following Kathy's snow dyeing techniques too. We don't get a lot of snow in the Canberra region, mostly frost, and of course nothing at this time of year. I was going to scrape up some icey frost this winter and maybe defrost my freezer and give it a go. It looks like your icey chunks worked quite well. I really like the avocado/turquoise combination!

  2. Well, you never now unless you try!!!! I think you got some cool results!! Hugs

  3. Very interesting. Since it never snows here, I guess I won't be trying it!

  4. your results are great - I'm really going to have to try this in the next decade...we have no snow either right now.

  5. Hi Kay,

    Glad you had a chance to try the snow dyeing. I hope you give it another go if you get another snowfall. It is always a surprise.

    DO you have an ice rink near you? When they clean the indoor ice surface, there is always snow/ice for snow dyeing. I may have to resort to that this year as the snowfall in my new home has been very small.

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. Hi Kay

    I've tried a similar dying method to this. We put our dye in a tray then used any old cheap shaving foam - lots of it. Mix it up with the dye (to get a kind of marbley effect), then laid the fabric on top. It was great fun with some interesting results.

    Yours turned out great , I especially like the green ones. Now what are you going to do with them ??

  7. Looks like you had fun. I have done some too. I find the Turquoise never take well in the cool conditions. And the purple ones are more dramatic because the reds react so quickly. You had great results, you will be wanting more snow now. We have not had enough to snow dye this year. Yesterday +9C (near records)and today -13C and wind blowing yucky.

  8. Last year we had too much snow but I had no dye supplies....guess what, this year I have the dye supplies but there isn't much snow????

    Best Wishes
    Kay in Scotland

  9. I hadn't heard of this, so found it very interesting. I don't do any dyeing, as I don't want to wash away anything which might upset the balance of the new sewage system we installed last year!

  10. I'm so glad you finally got to try snow dyeing, our fabrics look great!! It has been snowing here non-stop for 2 weeks now, too bad I can't send any snow your way, I've got more than I need :)


Hi there, thanks for dropping by, I appreciate your visit and comments.....