Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Have A Bit OF Snow ? Snow Dye Some Fabric!!!

Here in Virginia we have had several rather major snow storms that have made us all rather weary of the winter.  At least in Virginia this is not the usual winter weather!!  Most recently, March 2-3 we had a good 10 inches on top of sleet.  The snow was very dry and light , fortunately for those who did the shoveling!
As soon as the snow had stopped falling I got my fabrics soaking in the soda ash solution and set things up for my second round of Snow Dyeing of the winter.

In the round bowl, propped up on a vegetable steamer base ( so the fabric does not sit in the melted snow /dye solution) is the soda ash treated fabric.  I put in a small piece of Habatoi silk, and two pieces of vintage damask linen.  In the box sits an old baking cooling rack with one piece of linen, one piece of silk and a white cotton sleeveless shirt that I picked up at Goodwill.  In the back you can see my tub of snow.

The next step is to pack the snow over the top of the fabric till the cloth is totally covered and about 3-4 inches thick.  I then took the bowl and box of fabric/snow to the guest room tub and placed them in the tub to catch any water overflow and so I could easily wash any dye particles down the drain.

 Then I put on my dust mask and got out my MX Fiber Reactive dyes.  These can be purchased many places that sell fabric dyes or directly from Pro Chem in Rhode Island.  Using a teaspoon ( used only for dyeing fabrics) I sprinkled bits of dye powder over the snow.   The bowl was sprinkled with colors Turkey Red, Cherry Blush, Sun Yellow and Grape.  The box was sprinkled with Grape, Ice Blue, Ultra Marine and Dark Blue.  then all there is to do is wait till the snow melts!  So this morning I went down and found my dye covered fabric sitting above a puddle of melted snow and dye.  After a good rinse out and a wash in the machine and a spin in the drier, here are my results.


Here are the silk pieces!!! Luscious and luminous!!!  I will use these in my Collage Nuno felted wraps as merino wool fibers can penetrate the silk beautifully!

Here is the piece of vintage damask linen table cloth. LOVE!!!  The dyes move so beautifully in this method as the solution is carried down and through the fabric by gravity.  If there are folds and wrinkles in the fabric ( which there always are when one has wadded up the fabric) the dye will run down the fold till it gets to the lowest point where it will drip off into the reservoir at the bottom.

This smaller piece of linen was a hand towel with a ratty edge and a few holes in the fabric,  The damask pattern is glorious - sorry that the pattern is hard to pick up in this photo.

 Here is the large linen piece from the blue box ,that I roughly pleated and twisted before adding  to the rack in the box.

here is the cotton top from Goodwill that I will now embellish with other fabrics and doilies followed by some hand stitch.  I will be adding this piece to my inventory in my studio at Artful Dimensions Gallery.

If you are interested in a protocol to follow so you can have a go at your own Snow Dyeing , you can find one here.!


Vicki W said...


margaret said...

wonderful snow dyeing, no snow here this year so none done by me to be honest not sure I would have done anyway but seeing yours gets the brain thinking it would be good to have a play

Monica said...

Gorgeous results, Elizabeth, but not something I'm likely to try. We do get snow here (Canberra, Australia) on very rare occasions but not enough for snow dyeing.

Suztats said...

Fabulous results!

Jeanne Turner McBrayer said...

Beautiful results! Wish I had bought some stuff to dye up here to the mountains this weekend. We were not expecting snow!


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