A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Monday, November 16, 2015


In all my blogpost of this month I talk about procion dye powder. This is because I have experience with it. On other blogs I have read that there are other fiber reactive dyepowders, but I have never used them. In the first post of this month I mentioned a couple of suppliers. I had no intention of posting a complete list, but mentioned only the ones I had experience with.

Most of the time I work with cotton, but today I am showing you a raw silk piece of fabric which I snow dyed. As it is silk I could not use soda ash, but I presoaked it in vinegar. It was 3,5 yard of silk, so I needed a number of bottles of vinegar. Can you imagine how the studio smelled?

After the soaking the fabric was crunched, placed in a container on a raised platform and covered with a layer of snow. Dye powder was sprinkled over it, approximately 0,5 cup each of Teal Blue, Brushed Steel and Better Blue Green (all Dharma). A thin layer of snow was added to cover the dye powder. Left like this till the next morning. After rinsing, washing and ironing this is how the fabric turned out:

I did not take any process pictures, You know the drill by now :-).

And two detail shots:

Don't know yet what I will do with this fabric, but 3,5 yard should be enough to make some kind of garment.


  1. Another royal piece, didn't realize it needs so much vinegar... Thanks for sharing!

  2. Wil, Beautiful piece! However, you CAN use soda ash with silk. Like you, I always thought that I couldn't use soda ash with silk so I stayed away from dyeing silk. However, after much research and learning from other dyers, silk is strong and can handle it. Candy Glendening of Candied Fabrics dyes a lot of silk with fiber reactive dyes and she said she's even left the scarves in the soda ash water for a week at a time before dyeing with no problems. Candy also has great online dyeing classes using fiber reactive dyes including 104 on dyeing silk.

  3. I have used soda ash, vinegar and Citric Acid to pre-soak silk... all work, but I find the colors seem to be brighter and more intense when I use vinegar.

  4. I am so glad to see this technique works for larger cuts of fabric! I've been drooling over snow and ice dyed pieces and imagining sewing myself a full-skirted dress of some kind. Thanks for the inspiration; would love to see what this piece turns into!


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