Sunday, 5 February 2012

Snow Dyeing

You would think with the first snowfall of the year in this part of the country it would have been a good excuse to snuggle up with a good book and not move all day.  Did I do that? No!  I ran myself ragged playing with snow and dye and in between did some fabric printing (more of that another day).

First off our friend came round and took DH off for a walk in the snow for some photography and a lunch in town,

Bless!  Anyway that left me free to play! :-) (Poor Mum has missed out on her usual Sunday with us because of the snow.)

I have done snow dyeing before but this time I took a leaf out of Gillian Cooper's book (from her article in the March issue of Popular Patchwork) and mixed the dyes in water bottles.  I always have trouble deciding what colours to use  and not surprisingly I used a range of blues (teal, turquoise, medium blue, and navy) and an orange.  I'm hoping that I will get some nice sequences of blues and some soft greys (that's what blues and oranges in paint would give assuming you use a 'cold' blue with a warm red/orange).  I soda soaked the fabric before I started and put a tiny spot of washing up liquid in each bottle as I think that's supposed to help the dye powder mix, especially the reds. (about 200mls water to teaspoon dye powder, lid on and shake) . I then put upturned foil dishes in my tubs and scrunched up the fabrics and put them on top.

I piled the snow all over the fabric and then squirted the colour from the bottles, moving the snow here and there to squirt into the middle of it.  I left the tubs outside for a couple of hours and when the top snow began to look pale I took that off so that the mix wouldn't become too dilute (sorry, didn't photograph that).

In addition to the snow dyeing I did a tray dye too with some small pieces of fabric,

I pleated the fabric into the tray and then squirted the dye over and into the creases but didn't worry about leaving white areas for the dye to move into.

I decided I had got some dye left over so I quickly soda soaked some more fabric and filled a small tub and squirted dye onto each layer, starting with the lightest first.

I just hope that the snow dyeing did have enough dye in it or I shall wish I had put more into that.

The snow was removed form the tubs after about 5 hours and I've put the fabric in a plastic bag along with the fabrics from the tray and small tub and brought them indoors to batch.  I haven't done this before but I was so tired by now that I couldn't face rinsing it all out till tomorrow.  I did however rescue some pieces of silk noil and silk scrim that had been snow dyed and rinsed them out.

I have scanned these and they are nothing like the actual colours so I'll photograph them tomorrow and see if I can do any better.  They are much more turquoisey and subtle than this shows them to be.  I do love the marks though.

You may have noticed I havn't mentioned salt solution, that's because I forgot to use it again and ended up pouring it over the snow after a few hours.  One of these days I'll remember to mix it in with the dye!  

There are lots of different ways to dye with snow and if you have a look in Google I'm sure you'll find other methods.

PS I did use a face mask to protect myself from the dye powder until it was safely locked in the water and remembered to wear rubber gloves throughout.


Dosfishes at Sparkle Days Studios said...

Love the colors. You have more snow than us - we have NONE!!! xox Corrine

Heather said...

We didn't have enough snow to do anything! Love the colours you worked with and look forward to seeing the fabrics when they are ready. Well done for remembering the mask and gloves - I always forget and end up with purple or whatever fingers.

Iz said...

We went for a walk in the snow today and I was muttering that I should really take some of the stuff home to do some dyeing, but nobody took me seriously! See, I knew it could be done! Thank you for showing me how.

Anonymous said...

wow! what nice effects!

Angela said...

Just think, we were only talking about snow dyeing last week. It's great to see what you've done.

Anonymous said...

Wow, those look fabulous, looking forward to seeing more photos!

PS- thank you for your comment on my blog! :)

Yvonne said...

That is too cool. But I don't have any snow here. Boohoo. :)

Downunderdale said...

I don't think I will ever getthe chance to snow dye here!

Jackie said...

Julie - no snow here (Southern USA) therefore, there's no dyeing (I said those words out loud as I typed and it sounded like "snow dyeing." Closest I'll get!!

Lis said...

I love your results Julie and look forward to seeing more, thank you for all your tips, I'm trying again today and taking it sloowwwwly this time! Ot snowly?!

Linda said...'re adventurous Julie! What an exciting project....

Maggi said...

Great results with the silks, what a wonderful flash of red. I can't wait to see the rest. Don't worry about the salt, it isn't necessary.

Anonymous said...
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pam said...

Wow that looks great - cannot wait to see what you will do with the fabric now.

Margaret S said...

trust me to find this inspirational post after all the snow has gone. I intend to make a note of this technique and have ago asap.