Friday, December 18, 2015

Snow Dyeing

 On Monday we had a foot of snow! Great fun! Time for snow dyeing!  I thought I would write up a little demo on how I do my snow dyeing.

I start off with Prepared for Dyeing (PFD) fabric. I have several bolts of Moda's version, but any brand will do. I tear my fabric into either yard or half yard pieces.

Soda Ash Bucket
Next it goes into the soda ash bucket. I let it soak for 10-15 minutes, making sure that it is fully saturated. I use an old wooden spaghetti fork to stir it around and to push it down into the liquid. *NOTE*when ever you use any kitchen tools in the dyeing studio, they can never go home to the kitchen!

Out of the bucket
Using gloves, I wring out the pieces and toss them into a plastic wash tub.

Mixing dyes
While the fabric is soaking, I will mix up dyes if I need more than I already have mixed up. I spread out a dampened mop up cloth to catch any stray powder. ALWAYS wear a mask when handling powder dyes.

Ready to go

Ready for snow
I have been playing with twisting some of my fabrics. In the wash tubs I try to spread out the fabric as much as possible. In the round ice cream buckets I played with some twists and accordion folds.

I then dump a bunch of snow on top of the fabric. In the past I have crammed it full of snow. This time I was testing just making sure that there was a decent layer of snow on the fabric.

I pour the liquid dye over the snow in various patterns. I found out last year that some colors will meld and make brown! LOL! So this year I am trying out dyeing with complimentary colors.

All the dyed snow
I do this in the afternoon and let the snow melt overnight. I guess you could do it in the morning and rinse out in the evening. Whatever works for your schedule.
Melted snow
I love to see what dyes look like after the snow melts! Even though you think you know what you are getting, it is never quite what you expect.
I rinse out all the pieces.  I then toss them into a big bucket of clean water and let them stew for a bit. Then another quick rinse and into the washer.

I wash the batch with Synthrapol. It helps set the dyes.

Brown, terra cotta and a bit of purple
I am trying to dye a background for a flower quilt. I have had several attempts that didn't quite turn out the way I wanted it to. Love this piece, but I am not sure that it is right for my flower.


I may go back and over dye the light area

Pleated twist
I took quick photographs of the finished fabrics out in the snow. Some of the photos look a bit on the blue side.

Another twist
I may go back and over dye the light areas on this piece. I am really happy with the way the twist turned out.

Navy, forest green and yellow

Another folded one
This piece looks great in person. I folded it in half and then accordion folded it. I swirled it into the round bucket.

Another accordion fold,.

My favorites
These last two are much brighter in person. I love the bottom one the best of all this batch.

This is my off the wall and finished Friday post for this week.


  1. Beautiful! Snow dyeing is so much fun, but not sure if I want snow bad enough to do it. If you want to have fewer light spots, try letting your fabric dry on a clothesline after the soda soak, before dyeing it. I learned a long time ago in a Jan Myers Newbury workshop that wet equals white.

  2. Thanks for posting- for those of us non-fabric oriented, this was really interesting to see how you do it! I really love the outcome and my favorite is the bottom one too!

  3. Looking good! I still need to do some snow dyeing while the snow is still around.

  4. Your pieces came out beautiful, the navy, forest,and yellow is yummy! it has been some time since i have worked with procion dyes. i wonder how long they are viable after mixing? can they store in fridge?
    i would have to use shave ice since we get no snow at sea level.

  5. You got some gorgeous fabric from your dyeing!

  6. So beautiful! I wish we had some snow (here in LA!). Thanks for sharing your process.


Thanks for stopping by! I love to hear what you think about my post!