Thursday, December 30, 2010

If it snows, dye fabric....

Flagstaff. Winter Storms. Snow Days. Time to do some snow and ice dyeing! We had about 18" of snow yesterday and today, so the fresh powder was perfect. And here's a mini lesson on snow dyeing! My deck had a nice layer of fresh powder to play with.
So here's a mini lesson on snow dyeing!
After soaking prewashed PFD fabric in soda ash for about 30-40 minutes, I wrung out the excess and then gently scrunched it into two batches.
The first was on a plastic screen clipped to a large plastic bin. This suspends the fabric and lets the dye drain into the bin. I covered the fabric with fresh snow, about 3-4" deep. Note to self: wear gloves to handle the snow. My hands were freezing!
Over that, I poured super concentrated Procion Dye. For this batch, I used turquoise, fuchsia, and golden yellow. I used 1 cup of prepared dye for each color. I should have made more!
Now comes the hard part... wait for the snow to melt. It's sort of like watching paint dry!
It took about 6 hrs for the snow to melt, in the house! Then I rinsed and washed it!
And here's what I got:
The turquoise really washed out.... the reds did well, the yellow was so-so. Note to self: use more dye. Tomorrow, I'll try a different blue and hope it doesn't fade. Turquoise needs warmth to activate so the snow kept it too cold. The piece in the upper left was plain white muslin, instead of PFD. The dye was not take as well.
The second batch was scrunched into a tub and placed outside in a snow bank until it was frozen almost solid. Then I used Fire Red and Bronze and let the fabric defrost in the house. And here's what came out:
I like these a lot better, except for the white spot in the lower right. At the end of the batching, I flipped two pieces over in the dye at the bottom of the tub, I think that's why they got more saturated. I'm tempted to cut these into rectangles for an art quilt.
I'm declaring success... altho limited. More dye liquid, and maybe let them sit even longer than just until the snow melts. Tomorrow... more fabric and more dyeing!