Dye a Tshirt, Yarn or Fiber with Snow or Ice
I’ve been wanting to try snow dyeing for a while but totally forgot about it until a friend posted something on Facebook. Well, since we still have a boatload of snow out there, why not try it now? No snow? Ice works too.
This is my first attempt at snow dyeing but I do know a few things: First off, you have to use fiber reactive dyes. Acid dye will not work because it needs heat to set. Also, fiber reactive dyes require soda ash as a fixative. The rest seems to be up to the dyer. Some like to lay their fiber or tshirt on a screen to catch the liquid as the snow melts, others just pile it all in a pan.
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First, you need to soak your materials in the soda ash. Fill a bucket with enough water to cover your materials. Add appr. 1/4 cup of soda ash. Swish it around to mix, then add your tshirt, yarn or whatever materials you wish to dye. Let it soak for about 30 minutes then squeeze out the excess liquid. Don’t rinse!
Next, lay your materials out in the pot or pan, spreading it out as much as the container allows. I used a very large stockpot with a grate thingy in the bottom. This way, the melted snow can drip to the bottom, away from your materials. Like I said before, some folks prefer to just set their things at the bottom. Now, pile on the snow all the way to the top of the container. About 4-5 inches of snow should be plenty.
You can pre-mix your dyes but I chose to use the dry dye powder….. with a dust mask on my face! Carefully, sprinkle the dye powder on the snow, covering the entire surface.
Set it in a cool place. I put mine in the basement which is about 65 degrees right now. Check it every few hours to see how the snow is melting. I left mine sitting overnight.