Thursday, 14 January 2010

Snow Dyeing - results

Mixed results for the snow dyeing, so mixed feelings about it.
because I was experimenting, the fabrics were varied, as was the pre-treatment and the container size. I think all these things made a difference in the results.

Beginning info: The different fabrics were all cotton.. some cotton lawn, some cotton from a quilt shop, some quality cotton from a workshop I did at Houston in America, also a piece of cotton pillow ticking.
Normally I get good results from Dylon hand dyes without the addition of soda ash to the fabric because it I have been told it contains something of that sort already. Some of the fabric had already been treated with soda ash, most hadn't.

I think I will show the results from sad to glad.

1. yellow/orange/scarlet - larger container/no soda ash/quilt shop cotton
Very sad, I didn't even bother to iron this. I am going to overdye it with brown. You will see why later.
results: NO patterning at all - perhaps the container size? It was lovely bright orange, but most of the colours just all washed out. I have had this happen before with colours I used with scarlet. It may be that it strikes more quickly and so the other colours haven't a chance. There was a companion piece that had more white areas so I didn't rinse it out at all, but am overdyeing it with using the snow dye method using red. We will see.

2. green - smaller container/no soda ash/pillow ticking

sad, but I can find a use for it.
results: no patterning except the fold marks where the fabric was scrunched.

3. cherry red/black - larger container/no soda ash/cotton lawn
okay, at least looks somewhat like hand dyed fabric. you can tell that the black separated out. The black has a lot of blue in it, so it blended with the red and made the mauve colour.
results: fairly normal low water immersion patterning. I may over dye this with something using low water immersion techniques to retain a lot of the colouring that is already there.

4. royal blue/black - larger container/no soda ash/cotton lawn
okay, the black helped to create more tones of blue. The white area is actually a sort of dull grey, so the real colours are more like a stormy sky than a nice cloudy sky.
results: a bit of the snow dye patterning visible here and there. This may also get some other dyeing treatments, if only to do something about the grey areas.

5. purple/green - small container/soda ash/quality cotton
glad! - But, where is the green? It has just made it a bluer purple, but you can see where the purple separated into fuchsia and blue.

results: you can see the crystal patterning in many places. This is good. I am thinking the soda ash is necessary to use with the cold of the snow, even with Dylon.

6. purple - small container/soda ash/quality cotton
even more glad!
- you can really see where the purple separated into fuchsia and blue. I like this, and I am not actually a purple/pink person! I do wish I had been able to tell which of the small containers had which fabric after I put the snow on. I would have preferred NOT to have 2 purple pieces. However, I am sure that I will find I "need" 2 purple pieces somewhere down the road.

results: you can see the crystal patterning all over. This is very good. Again I think the soda ash is necessary with the cold. But I also wonder if the small container had something to do with it.

7. yellow/brown- larger container/no soda ash/cotton lawn
WOW! Very glad! okay, this is the surprise. no bumblebee fabric here! you can see blues moved out of the brown. the yellow does show in places and also helps to lighten the dark brown in other places. I can think of a lot of things to do with this. and now you know why I am going to overdye the sad scarlet piece with brown!

results: awesome patterning. and without soda ash or being in a small container. who knows? But I like it.

Overall: I think it was worth the experiment for the last fabric, but I don't have the time and money to be messing about for 3 nice pieces and 2 okay pieces. I will stick with normal ways of dyeing...and even then, if I am looking for a certain type of fabric...say for dragons, I will buy some from someone who already knows how to consistantly get the results I like.


Anonymous said...

I don't think you will ever get completely consistent results. My limited experience shows that even the consistency of snow and how much snow is used are important variables. I doubt you would be able to re-create a matching piece on another day.

I like the surprise factor, so it works for me. I take what I can get, and figure out how to use it after I see what I have.

Thanks for sharing your findings.

Karen S said...

I've had green disappear from shibori dyes -- even when the temps are warm. Like you, I try to think of it as an opportunity to over dye.

Those last few pieces you did are pretty awesome!

Julie said...

The brown and the purple are certainly beautiful and bold and the more delicate colours are lovely. I have done some snow dyeing previously but with Procion MX dyes. I did find the results did alter with the quality of the snow - fresh and fluffy snow gave the best patterns. I don't know if Dylon is the same but paradoxically I've been told Procion dyes need a temperature of 12degrees centigrade to work. When I did mine last year I put an upturned foil tray in the bottom of the container to support the fabric and eventually used a pipette to remove some of the excess dye as the snow melted. I think I left the fabric overnight before I washed it out. I did soda soak the fabric before dyeing (but probably not for more than a couple of minutes). I am very new to dyeing myself and found the snow dyeing great fun but don't profess to know what I'm doing most of the time! lol