It's been 2 years since my first go at parfait snowdyeing, and I was not thrilled with my results. I came away with things I should and would do differently for better results should I do it again. But really, I wasn't sure I ever would. It was almost a whim to try it over the weekend, those piles of snow you saw in my moose pictures destined to be greatly reduced if not totally gone within the week with forecasts of temps getting near 60 degrees. I already had some pfd fabric cut into half yards for gradations I never got to and I knew that if I took the time to scour them beforehand with synthropal, I'd not get to the dyeing part. I know most people don't bother to wash their pfd fabric but I always have. This time I just gathered my precuts, cut them into fat quarters and fat eighths before soaking them in soda ash solution (left over from my last dye session), quickly reviewed the process and, per my resolution word(s) for the year, winged it! I pulled some recently acquired vases and a variety of dye powders out and started layering.
The original directions suggested placing some small thing in the bottom for the fabric to rest on out of the melted dye-laden snow, but instead, I stuffed a fat eighth into the bottom of each rectangular vase before topping with snow and my first fat quarter. More snow and some dye powder, more snow and another fat quarter, more snow and more dye. That's all that would fit. A similar process for the tall cylinder vase. Sitting in my garage with nights still getting below freezing, it took about 24 hours for the parfaits to melt. The idea of this method is that dyes from upper levels will seep down into the fabrics below creating interesting mixes. It didn't look to me like there was much seeping as I emptied the vases out and started rinsing. However, as I unfolded and soaked, things looked promising.
These are the fat eights in the bottom of the rectangular vases. Yes, not a lot of dye made it down to them. The one on the left became a candidate for overdyeing in the next session.
These two are from the shorter rectangular vase. Golden yellow and I believe mixing blue were the dyes, me thinking that when the two seeped together, I'd get a lovely green. Not so much. Both of these would get overdyed, even though the yellow one had some nice texturing in it.
These from the tall rectangular vase are much more interesting. I rather loosely gathered these side to side and then folded the ends under to fit the width of the vase. I used more than one dye color on each layer, spreading them side by side more or less, and there may have been a bit of seepage onto the one on the right, the rose red coming through. I think the other colors I used were more of the mixing blue and some seafoam green. The one on the right has bright green, ultraviolet and maybe some lavender thrown in. I wasn't really keeping track, and making last minute decisions as I went. (Winging it!)
There's some very nice texturing in there.
The big winners came out of the cylinder vase. Again, struggling a bit to remember what I put in there, but definitely the ultraviolet and lavender on the top and more of that golden yellow underneath. But there was also a surprise.
While trying to separate the damp fat quarters I'd layered in the soda ash, my rubber gloved fingers struggled to find edges. I was coming up short on fabric and I had this feeling I had two fat quarters glued together and already stuffed into a vase. Sure enough, it was in this vase that they ended up, creating duplicate pieces that also create a mirror image! I'm very excited about that and the possibilities they present.
So I guess you could say, my faith in parfait dyeing has been restored, and I will probably do it again. Not prewashing the pfd fabric didn't affect how it took the dyes - good to know. And these results got my brain ticking away, knowing exactly what I wanted to do next. I quickly gathered more snow and fabric for a regular snowdye session. They say you must make hay while the sun shines. Well, here it is dye fabric before the snow melts! I'm ironing up the results this afternoon . . .