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THIS I LEARNED: part #2, 2021 - snow dyeing adventures

This past week we had some snow. Not a lot, but enough that my eye kept going to that expanse of white in my yard. I just had to do it......

Snow Dye

I am seriously trying to keep my fabric shopping to a minimum this year and use up what I've got...but that's another post. I found a couple of pieces of white fabric, not sure what they are (manufacturer wise) but I do know they are all cotton. The first piece I played with was quite large, a couple of meters at least.

We are in the midst of a Kitchen renovation. Let me tell you that it's not just the kitchen that is affected! The electrical work has been half done and I have a single light in the back corner of the unfinished portion of my basement. So I was down mixing soda ash solution by the use of the flash light on my phone. Measuring was not an option here, so as part of my typical cooking practices, a little bit of this and a little bit of that! I did wear my apron, mask and gloves for safety!

While the fabric was soaking in the chemical water, I grabbed some dyes and mixed equal parts together. I had seen a post about pouring liquid dye over the snow instead of sprinkling powder and wanted to try this method to see the results.

It doesn't take a lot of snow to snow dye, just a couple of scoops with the snow shovel was sufficient.

Fabric dye powders react with the chemical water at different rates. Reds are usually quicker and stronger and Turquoise is notoriously slow to react. The first was dye experiment was an equal mix of Fire Engine Red and Cobalt Blue. I mixed them together and added water. I poured the liquid over the snow covered scrunched fabric and left everything to melt and set.

I liked the result and had to do it again to check a theory....In the first case, I just poured from the mixing jar, adding some more water to clean out the container. Some areas seemed to get a lot of dye, while others look a bit bare.

I had very little colour separation, but a really nice bluish red, not quite purple, but a nice rich colour.

In my second sample, I had run out of Cobalt Blue and used Slate Blue instead, and used equal amounts of the dye power but this time used less dye and I poured the liquid into squirt bottles. I felt that I had more control of where the dye solution went and I did use less dye powder for a lighter effect.

Because I used Slate Blue instead of Cobalt Blue, I have a different purple but still very pretty.


  • Dye is dye. Not matter what I do, it will still look good. I have a fairly good handle on colour theory and know that when I mix red and blue together, I'll get some sort of purple. If I use more red, I get closer to the red side and if I use more blue, it will move me closer to the blue side. The perfect purple is totally dependent on the reds and blues I use and their proportions.

  • Mixing dye powders into solution before applying to the snow is not as messy as sprinkling dye powder over the snow. I find I often over sprinkle the dye powder on the snow in attempt to get full coverage.

  • Dye powders that are sprinkled over the snow can separate into their individual colours (as seen in the sample below). A clump of yellow dye can take over in a specific spot. It creates an interesting effect.


now to sew!


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