Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lazy Lady Snow-Dyeing

So, last weekend, we had another little snow event. Our area near Raleigh, NC is usually just a little too far south, east, west, or north for whichever direction the snow is coming from. We were not predicted to get any on Thursday. Friday night, it snowed and we had several inches of lovely, fluffy snow the next morning.

I started reading on blogs about all the snow-dyeing that people were doing, and decided I could try that. By the time I got around to it, the snow was melting fast. I had nothing ready.

I ended up grabbing some muslin right off the bolt, not even pre-washed. I wet it, crumpled it, and put it in the bottom of a trash bag. I scraped some loose clean snow off the front steps. I covered the fabric in the bag with snow. I poured in RIT liquid dye on top of the snow, and hung the bag from the deck posts...not far from the bird feeder!

I snipped holes in the bags, and let them drip down on some more muslin on top of a trash bag.

I was thinking this was very low-maintenance dyeing.

By the next day, the snow had not yet melted, since it was still cold outside. I waited until Monday afternoon, and started rinsing the fabric.

I forgot how much I hate rinsing the dyed fabric. Boring, boring.

Then I washed in Synthrapol detergent in the washing machine.

Here is what I got. Not exactly exciting. Better than beige muslin. Would make a good moonscape!

The colors were kelly green and yellow mixed, forest green, purple, the mixed drip cloth, and black. The black was dyed with black powdered RIT dye poured straight over the snow.

Actually, I like the mottling on these, and they could become mountains, rocks, or the backs of quilts. The black needs to be washed once more since it did not quite pass my color-bleed test.

I will probably just paint my fabric or buy my hand-dyes from Vicki from now on.


Vicki W said...

I like those pretty soft colors and, while I'd be happy for you to buy ALL of your fabric from me, you probably just needed a couple of hours of heat on these to get more vibrant colors. I did my snow dyes in plastic containers and had them in from of a space heater until about 2 hours after the snow melted.

Karen S said...

Vicki's right -- I put my snow-dyes in a plastic tub and let them batch overnight on top of a heating vent. They come out nice and bright; although I love the soft colors you got. I'm going to blog about my latest batch in the next day or two -- I keep hoping that each batch will be my last for this year, but the snow keeps falling...

Anonymous said...

The reason your colours are pale is because the dye doesn't 'fix' at any temperature less than 75F. So you might want to try Karen's fix by putting them over a vent to warm up overnight. The lower the temperature, the longer it takes to fix. You wasted a lot of dye by using snow. Living in SC, I would think you'd take advantage of sun dyeing rather than snow dyeing . Lovely fabrics anyway and as you said, very useful.