In the last post I talked about dyeing rayon jersey. The second part of that project was to dye an Egyptian cotton thrift store sheet in a greenish-grey color (pretty ugly). I picked it up at the thrift store for $.50. It was newish but had bleach spots. Despite this it had a lovely weave and thus seemed worthy of a new life so I kept it on my “to be dyed pile”.
On the first try at snow dyeing, the sheet turned out OK but it wasn’t transformed into a beautiful piece of fabric so I washed it and set it aside until it snowed again a few weeks later. Below is a photo of the first try.
At any rate, I liked the blue but was less enamored with the greens and pink. Of note, for this snow dye, the snow was very wet, thus saturating the fabric. Not sure if that made a difference but seems worthy of a mention.
On the second try, I used two colors of navy and a deep purple. The snow had just fallen and it was extremely light. As with the first time, I covered the fabric with about 2″ of snow. My thought is that the light fluffy snow didn’t saturate all of the fabric. It’s also important to note that for this second try I allowed the dye to stay on the fabric for 24 hours before rinsing it out.
As you can see below, it resulted in a floral-like pattern. Not sure how this happened, but it surely is beautiful.
Now that the dyeing is complete, the next step is to think about what to do with the fabric. Maybe just own it?
When the snow falls I get the itch to do some snow dyeing. The colors are so vibrant, the patterns fascinating and the result always a surprise.
This year I had two fabrics set aside for dyeing, though I’m sure I could find more in my stash. This a piece of brown rayon jersey I previously put in vat of spent indigo. I’m not sure what I did, but it turned out green and streaky but beautifully soft. Because the fabric had such a nice hand, it was worthy of another “dye job”. You have to admit, it looks barely salvageable.
Now, after snow dyeing, I can’t wait to use it for a t-shirt or sweater.
What are the steps for Snow Dyeing?
- Prepare fabric as for any other dyeing project. In a plastic bin or container, scrunch the dampened fabric.
- Add a layer of snow, approximately 2″ high, making sure that all of the fabric is covered.
3. After the fabric is covered with snow, begin to sprinkle with dye powder (my choice is Dharma Procion dye).
4. Use a tea or other small strainer to assist in spreading the powder evenly and to avoid clumps which would cause spotting on the fabric. Spread one color at a time, trying to have spots of dye in similar sizes. (Note: I use 3 or 4 colors).
5. Prop up one end of the bin so melted snow will drain away from the fabric.
6. Place the cover on the bin and wait 8-24 hours. Obviously, more time is better if you want deep colors.
7. Rinse and final wash the fabric as with any other dyeing project.
8. Enjoy your creation – or if it’s not to your liking, dye it again.