Sunday, February 14, 2010

My process (gleaned from lots of other folks)

A few people have asked about the process I used for snow dyeing.
I looked at many, many blogs and and kind of pulled it together from what lots of other dyers were doing and here's what I wound up with:

I soaked the fabric for about an hour in soda ash solution,
I scrunched or twisted it up and laid it on an old screen over my utility sink and another over one of those flattish plastic tubs . I only froze the fabric outdoors the first time - I think I got better results without freezing it.
I used MX dyes mixed with chem water (3 qts water, 3 cups urea, 3 T glaubers salt), and put them full strength into squirt bottles. I know some people were using different kinds of dyes.
Then I just played.

I probably couldn't reproduce a single one -- LOL!

I just leave everything in the laundry room and let it melt overnight. In the morning I hand rinsed, then machine-washed in warm water with some Synthropol, dried and ironed.
Oh yeah -- the best ones were with the Kona cotton, but the cotton/bamboo was pretty good too. The ones that I have going now are mercerized cotton print cloth from Dharma, and some cotton sateen so I'll see how those go.

I normally hate ironing, but it's actually the best part of snow dyeing -- like an unveiling.


peony1 said...

Hi Gisela,
Thanks so much for sharing your information. Your results are amazing. Since my yard is full of snow today, I should get busy. You were a little vague, but I think you must have used the dye concentrates at full strength.

Gisela Towner said...

Yes Anne -- I did use full strength last year. This year I've been using even a little stronger concentrations of dye. I noticed that the snow acts as a resist and also dilutes the dyes. I'm pretty happy with the stronger mix.

I've also noticed that the warm primaries seem to give better results than the cool color. I used turquoise, fuchsia and lemon yellow last year and this year went with mixing blue, strongest red and golden yellow.
Have fun!!

Anonymous said...

tsremetivGisela, Did you actually use 3 cups of dry urea in your mixture? Your results are wonderful and I am wondering if I need that much urea.
thanks, AnneP