Monday, January 12, 2015

Snow Dyeing

Over the years, I have had an on again/off again relationship with fabric dyeing. I love hand dyed fabrics but there are times when I just don't want to deal with the time involved. And when I talk about that time involvement, I've pretty much whittled it down to what I call a lazy dyer's method of fabric dyeing. I don't dye with intention--I'm not trying to duplicate exact colors, I take on the attitude of  "hmmm, I wonder what the result will look like if I add some of this color", and when it comes to the washing out of the excess dye, (which is the part I hate the most), it can take several days until my fabric isn't bleeding out any excess dye.

So my dyeing of fabrics with fiber reactive dyes goes in spurts. I'll do some pieces, add them to my stash and then I'm done for a period of time. I have always admired the results of other dyers and when I see what they are doing when dyeing it lights a fire in me to try and do that too. One of the techniques that I had been wanting to try for quite some time is snow dyeing. I live in a part of the country that does get snow. Sometimes a lot of it and sometimes a little. I live in North Dakota, in case you weren't sure. Our snow season can run about 5 to 7 months. And I can't believe I hadn't tried snow dyeing....until now.

On a date at the end of December I got together with a couple of friends, both of whom had snow dyed before, and we spent several hours dyeing several pieces of fabric.  The bulk of my results are shown in the next photo.


Most of these are just okay in my mind. If snow dyeing was going to produce only fabrics like these, I would probably not do it anymore. But check out the next piece.


Wow, I am totally in love with this one. For this one I wondered how it would turn out if I wrapped many rubber bands on sections of the fabric and then snow dyed it. I'm so glad I did that. I've been on a rubber band wrapping/snow dyeing frenzy ever since. Okay, maybe frenzy is not the right word. But I think about it a lot. I created another one with different colors:



I've got two more in the works as I type this. I'll share those results with you when they are ready. Oh, and I've got more ideas swirling around in my head. Yikes!!! Have you tried snow dyeing?

12 comments:

  1. I have never tried to dye anything, but you have me tempted with the snow dyed pieces you did. You will have to write a little more about this technique. I live half time in Alberta and Vancouver Island. While I try and be away from the snow for as long as possible, I don't always achieve this and it would be great to try something fun with snow besides shovelling it!

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  2. Those are amazing!! Although I do dye fabric using all kinds of methods, I have only tried snow dyeing once - with dismal results..Your pieces encourage me to try again. Fortunately (??) it is snowing here as I type so there should be a good supply of snow for quite a while yet...Like you, here on the East Coast of Canada, we can have snow for more months than we would maybe like (well, more than I like at least..lol).

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  3. Ok I need to know what this snow dyeing is all about. Your fabric pieces are gorgeous/1 Thanks for sharing and please let us know the process. I have plenty of snow that doesn't look like it's going away soon and I want to snow dye.

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  4. I should learn how to snow dye. I live in Grand Forks, where are you at in NoDak. I don't like what I see as the Mess of dying. Is it as messy as I think, or am I over exaggerating the mess? cdahlgren at live dot com

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  5. i'm in total agreement with every word!!

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  6. Gorgeous!!!! Would like to try this, but we have no snow here..southern California. I am with you about dyeing though, I never try to match colors or be super scientific about it, weighing ingredients etc., I just go for it and experiment. It is so much fun! Love your blog.

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  7. I think these are totally awesome! I hope you make many more. About purple and orange, green and blue?

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  8. Beautiful! I wonder if some finely ground ice could work in place of snow .... something for my to-try list.

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  9. Yes... keep up the rubber band dyeing frenzy! The fabrics are awesome!

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  10. I also have been back and forth with dyeing over the years, but the results you achieve using the rubber bands is inspirational! Most of the snow dyeing I have seen is ok, but nothing out of the ordinary. The rubber bands add another level to this technique. I live in NE Ohio and we have snow on the ground right now. I have a bunch of hand dyed fabric that needs to be overdyed to give it some zip-pa-dee-do-dah so snow dyeing it may be the answer! I will keep checking to see more of your fabulous results!

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