Monday, February 15, 2010

Snow Dyeing--New Technique

Some snow dyers had been mentioning online that they don't let the fabric sit in the dye as the snow melts but raise it up off the bottom of the dye bin.  And they seem to get different results from what I was getting so I couldn't wait until the next snow to give it a try.  I scraped up some snow from the piles that had slid off our barn roof and that snow did pack a bit better than the dry flaky snow I had used last time.  And wow! the results were different:
 This was mostly navy blue with a bit of some old mist gray.  Click on the image for a closer view.
This is probably my favorite piece so far and I thought it was going to look like something the dog threw up when I was adding the dye.  I began with some old brown but realized when I emptied the bottle that, even  though I had shaken it well, it had not thoroughly mixed.  So I thought I would possibly save it with the kilt green I had just mixed for the last batch, but I ran out of that before the snow had been sufficiently covered with dye.  This was supposed to be an experiment so I didn't want to spend any more time mixing a new batch of dye.  After rummaging about I found a very old lemon yellow and when I squirted that on, it did not look very appealing.
Here are details of each so you might be able to see the crystalline petal patterns better:

For those interested in the technique I used, here are some more pictures:

I used 1/2" hardware cloth cut so that it did not fit all the way to the bottom of the sloping sides of the bin and supported in the middle so that it didn't sag.  

The fabric in this one is in an old narrow dish drainer--never throw anything out!-- with the snow mounded on top and you can see the side view below.
Even though it looks like the dye may not reach those side pieces, there were not white spots in the final fabric.

These were results significantly different from what I can get with my regular low immersion dyeing in the summertime.  Now for a project worthy of their uniqueness. . . .


Susan said...

Oh my gosh, Madalene, these are beautiful! The weatherman says more snow for us tonight...I can't wait to see what's next!

Anya said...

Those were so gorgeous in person!

Kathy P said...

Thanks for the personal showing today! They're gorgeous! Can't wait to see the quilt you make with them!