Modern Sunbonnet Sue's Musings

Musings from the mind of a modern day Sue:
Snow Dyeing Fabric

There was a thread in the QCA forums last winter about snow dyeing. I was intrigued, but had plans to try some other types of resist dyeing techniques. I wrote about those experiences HERE and HERE. Last week, it occurred to me that I should consider snow dyeing with all the white stuff outside. So, I purchased some powder Rit Dye on clearance at Meijer, soda ash at Hobby Lobby, and reviewed a couple of You-Tube videos on the topic. I spent the better part of Saturday trying the technique. Here are the results.

I use muslin at a low cost to try out these dyeing techniques.  After learning the technique, I may choose to purchase fabric and dyes of a higher quality to prepare more fabric. To begin the snow dye process, I soaked the muslin in a Soda Ash solution for 20 minutes. This allows the dye to take to the fabric better. After wringing out the excess solution, the fabric was bunched up and place on a slotted surface over a tub. I made do with a plastic shoe rack from my closet and placed it over two tubs. The entire setup was placed inside the bathtub for ease in rinsing the fabric and cleaning up. I gathered snow from the back deck and placed it on top of the fabric. Powdered dye was sprinkled across the snow, which acts as a resist until melted. The dye colors I used were Fushia, Golden Yellow, and Dark Green. My choices were based upon the selection on the clearance shelf.

Snow Dyeing Setup
Snow Dyeing Setup #1
Snow Dyeing Setup #2
Snow Dyeing Setup #2
Fabric after snow melted
Fabric after snow melted

After the snow melts, the fabric is rinsed until clear. I didn't get the results that I was hoping for. Maybe the fabric pieces were too large, but the dye did not penetrate through the pieces. Large areas of white muslin remained untouched by the dye. I chose to re-dye one of the pieces. Another piece was flipped over part way through the melting and the snow added to the other side to finish melting. Here are the three samples I created.

Re-dyed Fabric #1
Re-dyed Fabric #1
Fabric #2
Fabric #2
Fabric #3
Fabric #3

I probably won't be trying snow dyeing again anytime soon, although there is plenty of snow outside. The technique was time consuming and the results were less than satisfying. I would really like to try Batik dyeing and additional attempts of Shibori dyeing.

Happy Dyeing!

Published Tue, Feb 25 2014 10:35 PM by Pamela