After the snow dyeing adventure some of us had, I decided to do a little research to learn if the process could be improved upon.
I have a wonderful book I bought years ago, Textile Dyeing, A Step-by-Step Guide and Showcase,by Kate Broughton. A wealth of information for both the ignorant beginner and advanced.
So there are different types of dyes. I looked at our Dylon dies we used, and it does not say what type of dye it is! For that I googled "what kind of dye is Dylon?" and clicked on "
or go to the "dye forum"
(I tried to just paste the web site, but couldn't reach it that way).
I am still studying this but between these two sources have learned that even those fabrics pretreated specifically for dyeing should be washed first. Synthrapol is recommended. Do not use soaps that contain sulfites, bleach, softeners, brighteners, or other additives.
When using salt in mixing the dye, do not use iodized salt. If using distilled white vinegar to set the dye, make sure the strength is 5 %.
The soda ash you find in laundry detergent sections of the grocery store usually contain a brightening agent that will counteract the effectiveness of the dye.
There is so much to learn. I am going to experiment and let you all know what I come up with and show the results.
And the Dylon already has soda ash in it, so it does not need to be added.
Good to know Patti...thanks for looking this up. I'm going to do another batch this afternoon!
We're losing snow pretty fast right now...so I may have to drive up higher (to get snow) to do any more snow-dying next week.
Thanks for the info Patti.
Patti, I also have been doing some web-surfing on snow-dying techniques.
I found this website with some really good pointers...specifically (at least for me) trying to make the final dye more vibrant in the fabric.
This gal had a solution, but you need fresh, dry snow to do it...so I/we may have to wait until next winter to try it. But take a look here:
She is a long-arm quilter and custom snow-dyes quilt-backs for her customer's quilts (if they want). They are gorgeous!!!
wow Donna, I had seen some of her stuff before but not this tutorial. I printed off a copy to keep with my dye book.
I have washed the 2 yards, (cut in 1 yard pieces,) and plan to do something with them today. Although the snow is not the best, and we will probably have to wait until next year as you say, I figure I can get more fabric then. Besides, I want to use up the open dye packs left over from our class, as they won't keep well until next year.
Patti, good point about the open packets. I didn't think about that!
Also, on the same blogsite, she has two articles on sun dying techniques...with her successes and failures.
Very good info and will need to try those this summer!
Here we go. I did 2 yards separately, using the same colors as before but differently. First I scrunched the fabric, and then dies in stripes.
next I folded the fabric, and then dyed in blotches. The way the snow is already melting, I am hoping it will be ready to 'reveal' by tomorrow evening. Of our snow dyeing group last week, Dina had some folds which resulted in some mirror images, which I hope to get with these folds.
it's so cool to see your dyeing process. I think I'm going to like that stripe.
I missed the second batch. The mirror images sound interesting.
Now can be this be done with crushed ice when the white stuff is gone?
I have seen it done on youtube wih ice.
Well, the snow has melted enough so that I can see what's happening. I think washing the special fabric purchased for dyeing with synthapol is making a difference. The colors seem much brighter. I am really curious to see how the folded fabric will turn out. The folds are really rearranging the colors. I looked at the bottom and under the blue is green and under the green is blue.
The sun is out. Think I am going to move my project into the sunshine. I really want it to melt so I can see the result today.
Patti, can't wait to see how your new fabrics turn out
I also did some more snow-dyeing yesterday too. I got too engrossed and forgot to take pictures...sorry everyone!
Mostly I was using up the opened packages and dissolved dyes I already had on hand.
I did try some over-dyeing that should prove interesting. The green and purple piece I did at LQS that was not as intense as I had hoped, got cut in half. Kept one half as is and the other half got the over-dye treatment with a Dark Green dye (Marge P picked this up for me last Wednesday in our nearest "big city"). This is strictly an experiment on my part - half of this piece I used a sea-foam sponge and dabbed the dark green dye over the lighter olive green areas. On the other half, even though our snow is not new and quite wet, I decided to try pre-mixing the dye into the snow and then pile it on the fabric. I have no idea how that half of the half will turn out, but we will see!
As with Patti, the sun is out here but we are getting a lot of wind (last night and today). The snow is melting rapidly everywhere else, so I expect it will on these projects also. We'll see how these turn out and I definitely will take and post pictures!
Thanks so much, Patti, for your research. I did a batch of 2 half yard pieces on Friday afternoon. They didn't seem to be melting very fast by Saturday afternoon so loosened up the snow a bit - by last night I could see two different areas on the edges where the fabric was showing through. These are in a storage shed with no electricity so not sure if there is enough light in there to take a picture but will try.
I did use Iodized salt so will definitely note that in my dye book to compare these results with the next batch. I have ordered two different fabrics on line as LQS is out and not sure when it will be in. I was wondering about the pre-washing - need to pick up some Synthrapol. Wonder if I can find it in Omak as we have to go there tomorrow.
I just scrunched my two pieces leaving an area between them - piled on the snow - put 2 greens, a dark brown with a bit of yellow on one side and then used two blues and the yellow on the other one. Got a bit carried away and dumped the remaining stuff here and there. It should be interesting.
I closed up the opened dye bags by folding twice and using a binder clip and then put in plastic bags. Probably won't use it all this winter so will start out with it next winter to see if it is still good.
I guess I need to go and take a peek and see how it is melting. Will post a pic if it turns out.
Marge, Donna and Patti, would you care to share the recipe for snow dyeing, I'd like to try it.