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Snow day is DYE day ... part 2

Here is the 2nd part of my recent snow dye day. As I mentioned in this post, I was trying a new to me method of using liquid dye solutions instead of dye powder. Here are the results and my opionions of the method.

Fuchsia & Yellow snow dyes

At first glance once all the snow had melted I knew I was going to have trouble telling the different dye tubs apart. So I took a few minutes and added some labels to the corner of each FQ. FQ 1A and 1B were the Red/Yellow dyes, FQ 2A and 2B were the Fuchsia/Yellow dyes, FQ 3A and 3B were the Burgundy/Yellow dyes and 4A and 4B were the red dye mixes.

You can see clearly how the red and yellow dyes have moved through the fabric and how much white still remains. Once I treated with Soda Ash these white areas disappeared....more on that later.

close up of Fuchsia & Yellow snow dyes

My first mistake was: not dumping out the snow melt before adding the top FQ to the bottom. There was still active dye in the snow melt and the top FQ picked up some of the dye from the bottom of the tub.

Red & Yellow snow Dyes

I added 1/2 cup of Soda Ash solution to the liquid in the bottom of each tub. I mushed them around a bit and left the FQ to sit in the Soda Ash solution for about an hour to batch.

The top FQ in the following pictures is the FQ that was in the top of the tub and the bottom was in the bottom.

Tub #1 had the Red and Yellow dyes. The bottom FQ was a white tone on tone fabric I had and I've folded over a corner to show a bit clearer how the different colours have dyed the fabric.

Red & Yellow snow Dyes

Tub #2 had the Fucshia and Yellow dyes. The mixed colour is much more red than Tub #1. Fucshia is a stronger dye.

Fucshia & Yellow snow dyes

Tub #3 had the Burgundy and Yellow dyes. I was expecting a much darker orange and I had not worked with this combination before. There is a very even mix of the two dyes, but the texture in this fabric is beautiful!

Burgundy & Yellow snow dyes

Tub #4 was a mix of all 3 of the red dyes. The one thing I did was to dump out the snow melt before I added the 2 fabrics together and poured in the Soda Ash which resulted in a bit of white, undyed fabric area.

Red, Fucshia and Burgundy snow dyes

Results and Conclusions: Whenever I play with new to me colours and techniques, I approach things with an open mind. I would definately re-do all of these combinations. But I would do things a little differently for snow dyeing.

  • I'd use smaller containers or larger pieces of fabrics. The fabrics weren't shrunched up very tightly and the dye was allowed to get to all areas of the fabric. When the fabric is shrunched tighter, there are more white spaces because the dye can't reach those areas of the fabric.

  • I'd dump out the snow melt before I added the Soda Ash solution. There was a lot of liquid in the bottom tub and the dye in the melted snow dyed the fabrics a bit more evenly.

  • I think the liquid dye on the snow will work much better if I pre-soak the fabric with Soda Ash. As the snow melts and the dye reaches the fabric it will immediatly fix to the pre-soaked fabrics and I'll get some more texture. The dye in the liquid that will end up in the bottom of the tub will be used up and not active any more.

  • I think I'll start pre-soaking some fabric and let them air dry before my next snow dye session. I like how the liquid from the snow melt and the dye interact with dry fabric more than with wet fabric. Maybe that will be my next experiment.


You can see from the closeup of the Fucshia and Yellow dye tub, that there is a fair bit of undyded fabric showing. Once I dumped the two fabrics together into the snow melt, these areas got dyed with a mix of the dye in the snow melt. This kind of defeated the wonderful effects that can be achieved with snow dyeing.


Understanding that mixing 2 colours on the same side of the colour wheel will create some interesting new hues, I can limit my purchases of dye powder and create (as in these examples) some great new colours.


Up next, I'll try this again with a few changes.

  • smaller containers

  • pre-soaked fabric

Check out my Fabric Dyeing Classes if playing with colour and creating your own fabrics interests you.


Happy Quilting!

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