Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Snow Dye experiment

Ahhh...here I go experimenting again. I hear about snow dying, and we have an abundance of snow on the ground and a day off of work. My disclaimer? I don't know what I'm doing. So here goes...


I soaked white wool with a little dish detergent to open the fibers and get it ready to take the dye. Then I placed a piece rumpled up on the bottom of my old dying pan. I had three salt shakers in which I placed non-iodized salt, and one color of Cushings dye in each shaker. I used 4:1 ratio with salt to dye mixture. Then I sprinkled it all over! I was wearing gloves to protect the dye from getting on my skin, and was doing this on a day with no wind so I wouldn't be breathing any nasty dye.

Next I added a layer of snow, and then another piece of wet wool. Then I sprinkled the salt-dye mixture again. I did this four times with wool, dye mixture and snow layers.




I ran out of my mixture for the top layer, so it is covered with plain snow. We'll see what happens!




After a few hours in the sun the snow partially melted, and the water merged my colors together. It didn't look very impressive! But the wool had soaked up the dye and there were no areas without color.




I took the frozen mess inside and used tongs to rinse it under cool water. I rinsed off all the salt and remaining dye until the water ran rather clear.


Then I took each piece of wet wool and rolled it in plastic wrap. I microwaved it until it was hot, and then let it sit for a few hours.




I must say I was surprised by the results. The photo doesn't do it justice, but the wool is quite pretty and the colors merged beautifully for nice marbled effect. What I don't understand is why it came out so light? Nice pastel colors, but I didn't expect pastels. Perhaps the colors would have held stronger if I had heated the wool with the dye on it without rinsing? Or if I had baked the wool in the oven instead of using the microwave? I don't know, but it was a fun experiment and I have four pretty pieces of wool for another project. Is it too early to be thinking about Spring?




1 comment:

Joanne said...

Wow interesting about getting the pastel color - never heard of snow dyeing - may have to try this. M