Tuesday, February 16, 2010

With the long winter and all the snow we have here in Michigan I was excited to hear of a fabric dying technique called "snow dying". It's on many different sites on the Internet, I read about it here http://gaylemckay.wordpress.com/ This past weekend I lit a fire in the wood stove to warm up the dye studio and tried my hand at snow dying. First I pretreated 4 yards of cotton fabric with soda ash, (1 1/2 gallons of hot water with 14 Tablespoons of soda ash), added the fabric and let it soak a few hours.

I then squeezed it out and bunched it in a container (one yard per container).

I added 3 to 4 inches of snow on top and poured on the dye. I used Procion dye (5 or 6 years old), this first batch has a warm yellow, red and a purple.

Next container, blue, a little red and a little purple.

Last container, blue, chartreuse green and yellow. I let them set overnight by the wood stove, pushing down the dye with a stick when I couldn't wait any longer. In the morning it looked like a pail of dye with fabric soaking. I didn't think there would be any color variation. I wasn't too hopeful. I carefully lifted the fabric out into my laundry tub and rinsed thoroughly, then put it in the washer with hot water and synthropol. I could not believe how beautifully dyed the fabric is. Its like the snow mixed and released the dyes different times and different mixes. Different colors that make up the dyes showed up on the fabrics. I recommend this technique to anyone with snow and are bored with winter, you will have fun. As matter of fact I'll think I'll play with this next weekend.

And the fabrics, please double click on the picture to see all colors.

And my cute dye rag showing some of the dye colors.

My husband is doing well, but getting very bored at home, I've been taking him for rides to get him out of the house. Michigan is beautiful in the winter (we have no jobs but beautiful scenery!)
This is a few of our local Lake sites.

Our light house starting to be coated with ice from the waves.

On the channel going into Lake Michigan the sea gulls are hanging out away from the lake winds.

As soon as I walked up to the channel all the ducks and swans came swimming up for bread crumbs.

All of them hungry.

Another kind of community springs up every year when our inland lakes freeze over, the ice fishermen. They stay until the ice melts and their shanties are ready to fall in the lake.


Vicki W said...

I love that dark fabric on the left. Great results with your snow dyeing.

Deb H said...

The fabrics turned out wonderful!

I also love the lake pictures. The seaguls remind me of "Finding Nemo". They're funny!

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo