How to dye with snow, part 1

I needed a break from my computer screen and virtual designs, so I’m returning to a fun way to memorialize our January snowfall — snow dyeing. I picked out a white, thrift-store shirt for the project. Here’s the process if you want to give it a try. Like everything I do, it’s a production. Allow about 90 minutes for part one. (See my 2016 project.)

Step 1. Pick out what you want to dye — at least 90% cotton or linen. Make sure you have scoured the items in the wash to remove any sizing or finishes that might interfere with the dye process.

Step 2. Put on your rubber gloves. Mix up a soaking solution:

  • 1 gal. hot water
  • 1/3 c. soda ash (available at hardware or pool supply stores)
  • 1/2 c. salt (optional, for brighter colors)

Soak your items for 1/2 hour. Wring them out. The soaking solution can be saved and reused in another project.

Soaking shirt in soda ask water

Step 3. You’ll need:

  • Container large enough to contain your items, scrunched up but not too deep
  • Procion dye (I’m using four shades of blue)
  • Small spoons to sprinkle dye powder
  • Rubber gloves
  • Dust mask (to keep from breathing in dry dye particles)
  • Large bowl of snow (or ice cubes)

Put your soaked items scrunched up in the holding container. Pile on the snow (or ice cubes) to cover the cloth. Sprinkle about a teaspoon of each color dye over the snow. (See image below.) Cover the container (without touching the dyed snow) and set in a warm place overnight.

Continued here>>>

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