Saturday, February 8, 2014

My version of the Snow Dye process (reprise)

I thought I would re-post my blog on snow dyeing. There are areas of the country that have snow now that haven't had much for many years. Enjoy! So, we've had a LOT of snow. What to do? What else, dye fabric in the snow!! This was really the perfect snow for dyeing - not too wet, not too dry, just right!

I grabbed some of my dye bins, soda ash soaked some PFD fabrics and wadded them up into the bins:

At this point, some people let the fabric freeze, but not me - too impatient! So I packed them all to the brim with snow. (NOTE: I have since found that freezing the fabric first does have an effect - you get much crisper lines in the finished fabric as you can see from my subsequent blogs where I did freeze the fabric.)

Then I brought them inside to my wet studio and squirted dye on the snow. I used 2 colors on each, mixing them up with the 5 colors of fiber reactive procion dye that I had mixed. The dyes were Lemon Yellow, Brilliant Blue, Pagoda Red, Ultra Violet and Forest Green. I tend to choose dyes that are mixtures of color, rather than what they call "primaries" so that the colors come apart on the fabric and give some really unique results. Here are the fabrics after I put dye on them:

And here they are melting . . .

You can see the dye start to wick down into the fabric:

And melting . . .

And more wicking . . .

Over half way - this takes probaby 6-8 hours to get it totally melted.

And I took these just before I went to bed. The snow is nearly gone. I thought this was going to be a rather ugly piece from looking at this, but it's NOT!!

Here they are totally melted. I let them sit like this till they're room temperature, (or 24 hours, whichever comes first!) then rinse them out by hand, then they go through 2 super hot washes, the first with synthrapol in my dye dedicated top loader and the second in my front loader with regular detergent and fabric softener on the sanitary cycle. They're in the wash now, so as soon as they're done and I can iron them, I'll post pictures of the results. Stay tuned!!

(Yes, that's the "ugly" one!)

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