Friday, December 25, 2009

Snow Dyeing Experiment

I am sure that you have all heard the phrase, "Got Lemons? Then make Lemonade!!" to me this has always meant , make the best out of a not so great situation. Well, WE GOT SNOW-so Try Snow Dyeing!!! I loved the storm and the snow but then we had no disappointments or inconveniences because of it. It was hardly a bad situation. However, one requirement for Snow Dyeing is SNOW!! I had heard tell of this technique last year when other parts of the country got lots of the white stuff and we went without. Then this year I was reminded of it by Dye Queen Extrordinaire, Vickie Welsh.
Vickie has been involved in all aspects of fabric dyeing for quite a while and has all of the necessary supplies and dyes.Vickie is very disciplined and creates beautiful hand dyed fabrics in color groups and then creates beautiful quilts with her own fabrics. Someday we are going to get together as she lives not very far from me! You MUST visit her wonderful blog (link above) to see how this technique and oodles of others, are meant to be done. So Vickie's undertaking , having benefited from the same snowfall as we did, sewed the seeds of inspiration. I , however , have none of the Right supplies, just lots of supplies that might servea as good stand ins. I saw this as no reason to squwelch my enthusiasm , and forged ahead. After all , we had PLENTY of snow!!
This technique si meant to be undertaken with fabric dyes. Well I ahd Setacolor fabric Paints. Ok , so try those instead. I did not have any soda ash for pretreating the fabric. But Setacolor paints don't require pretreating other than washing , so this might actually work.
So here we go !! A totally unscientific stab at Snow Dyeing probably best described as messing around!!!!!
The whole idea behid Snow Dyeing is that the snow will melt on thefabric carrying the dye down into the fabric at varying rates and thereby the resulting fabric will show variations in intensities of color. It is kind of a resist technique, I suppose.
So we begin.
We have snow.

We have prewashed fabrics of various weights and sizes, Setacolor paint concentrates in yellow, cobalt and fushia. A glass vessel for easy viewing of melting and dyeing .

The fabric was wadded up and stuffed into the bottom of the jar. 4-5 inches of snow was packed in on top. I drizzled the diluted paints onto the snow layer and put it aside in the kitchen to melt.
I love the way it looks with the snow colored by the paints.

This is what it looked like after about an hour sitting inside.

After 3.5 hours it was time to end the process. The snow was pretty well melted and the paint had been carried down into the fabric. I was a bit concerned about the muddy pool at the bottom of the container. Soda Ash soaked fabric would have mitigated that problem somewhat. ah well.

After rinsing and drying , this was the result.

Too pale and not very colorful and prety gray- yuck!!

Oh Well. I used what I had. I played with the snow. I watched the pretty colors run down into the fabric and I got a far from stellar result!! I have decided that I am not a fan of Setacolor paints except for sunprinting. Can anyone tell me why I often get blackened edges on my fabric pieces with these paints???
I will probably try this technique again but ony when I ahve access to all of the correct ingredients, using actual fabric dyes. I would like to do it once , successfully and that will be enough!!
To se some great results, go and visit Vickies Blog or Gayles blog. These gals can show you all the right steps for fabulous results.
These fabrics will go back in the "To be DYED Bag" and will get overdyed on the next dye day at Artistic Artifacts. It was great fun to try a "What IF" moment and play about a bit. I need to let myself do more of this sort of thing in 2010!!


Laura Krasinski said...

It was well worth a try... I wonder if you could use acrylics and then heat set them.. my friend Beth Hartford does beautiful snow dyes too.. you can see hers here
I was a bad kitty and ordered some awhile ago.. love love love them..

Vicki W said...

Don't give up! Let's think about snow painting......hmmmm. So you are basically diluting the paint with frozen water. How about if your use a larger container, so the fabric is bunched a little less. Then about 2" of snow and paint poured over. Then I think I would put the container near some heat (like on the dryer) so the snow melts faster. What do you think? I still think the snow would give some great texture.

Lisa said...

Frankly, I like it.. but then i am the queen of colorless and monochromatic art! Anyway, try it on the snow outside..ours is getting pretty ugly and dirty looking and could use some sprucing up!! Hope your Holiday was lovely! xo Lisa

Anna said...

Nice try! Especially since the rain will probably wash it away by morning....yucky.

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth, I don't know anything about dyeing fabric or doing it with snow, but I think the pastel shades yours turned out to be are quite pretty!

Merry Christmas!


Marilyn Rock said...

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! Fantastic - this is how life should be lived! Beautiful!

Love, Marilyn

Leslie Brier, Brier Design Studio said...

I actually like the results that you got. The pale colors blending together look like dawn to me! Bring it over and we'll do something wonderful with it!

Pat Winter said...

I love the results. That fabric would make a beautiful book page.
I must try this...thanks.

Trina said...

Cool idea, Elizabeth! (oh my gosh, no pun intended!)

Julie said...

Your snow dyeing is a bit like some berry dyeing I did some time ago, not quite the result I was expecting but lovely nonetheless. I'm sure Vicki is right, it just got overdiluted, more colour next time! At least you got on and had a go, I just looked at our snow and forgot all about snow dyeing! Doh!


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