Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Snow dyeing Part One

Usually by this time of year we have a fair amount of snow. Of course this year, when I wanted to play with snow dyeing, there is very very little snow. Wednesday and Thursday we got around 5-6 inches. Yippee. Of course I could have bought ice, but that seems wrong.

There are quite a few tutorials online about how to do this, so I won't post links, because there are quite a few. Most people that snow dye or hand dye fabrics for that matter are quilters. Not me, I hate quilting. Passionately. I admire the result but the process is boring as hell. To me.

Some things are no different with snow dyeing than regular dyeing. You still have to soak the items being dyed in soda ash and water. The items should be 100% natural cellulose fibers for optimum results. Two of the t-shirts I dyed are 5% lycra. It shouldn't make too much of a difference, but we will see.

If you are going to snow dye you will need:

Procion MX dyes-I use Jacquard
Soda Ash
Dedicated measuring spoons and stirrers (use only for dyeing)-get at the dollar store
Bucket for soda ash soak
Gloves to protect your hands from the soda ash and the dyes
Plastic containers to hold everything-I used one of the plastic totes intended for under bed storage
Fabric and/or t-shirts to be dyed

I place a sheet in the bottom of the container to catch the excess dye.
The bottles are to hold the racks above the sheet.

This with the racks in place

The t-shirts are soaked in soda ash and scrunched together and placed on
top of the rack. Then three inches of snow is packed on top of the t-shirts.

All three t-shirts with the dye on top of the snow.

This one has just about the right amount of dye sprinkled on the snow.

This one has way too much dye applied. 

This one has the right amount too. 

This was the first time I had tried this technique, so I was guessing how much dye to apply. It worked out not too bad. One of the t-shirts I love, one I like and the third is just ok, I may over dye this one black.

The dyes I used on all three t-shirts were complimentary. If you decide to try this, look into colour mixing to make sure you aren't going to get mud colours. For example, purple and orange make brown. So choose your colours carefully. I wanted the sheet underneath all this to be useable so the colours had to coordinate.

Next post the reveal!


  1. I have never heard of snow dying, I can't wait to see the results. Based on the ink I think I'm going to like the colours you've chosen.

  2. I have never heard of snow-dying either. I think it looks very cool. I may have to try it. ANd I find it interesting that you don't have salt anywhere in the mix. Usually, with ordinary dying, you add lots of salt to ensure the dye is permanent. I can't wait for part 2 of this post.

  3. Interest. Never heard of it either. Cannot wait to see what happened!

  4. OK Laurie....let's see the finished samples!!!!

    1. Tomorrow (February 19), I promise.

    2. Even if the sun doesn't shine? You rebel...teasing us with mounds of snow cones and dye....can't wait!