Category Archives: Dyeing/painting fabric

Snow Dyeing Fun

Snow dyeing is a very fun process. A friend and I decided to play with snow dyeing, while there was still some snow. We are having a very mild winter!

When you snow dye, you put your soda ash soaked fabric (wrung out) on a grate in a pan. We scrunched up our fabrics to get maximum mottling. The next step is to add a pile of snow on top, covering the fabric. Sprinkle dye powder over the top of the snow, and wait. Once the snow has all melted, usually overnight, you can rinse the pieces of the excess dye and see what patterns and colours will be revealed.

Here are some of the results of our snow dyeing:


This one was twisted up and put in the bottom of the pan, under the grate. So it was dyed by the snow melting and the dye going into the bottom of the pan. Wonderful!

snow dyed with Raspberry and Grape dyes


On this piece, I used a combination of Raspberry and Grape dyes and not a lot of snow.


These two pieces were from the same batch. I layered the pieces and instead of dye powder used dye solution on the snow. I used red, yellow and green dyes Resulting in a lovely peachy colour.



This piece of fabric turned out to be a cotton/polyester blend. It created a delicate heathery texture to the colour, as the polyester fibres in the fabric didn’t take the dye.


This blue got a few dark marks as it was left to get too dry and the dye concentrated at the top of the folds. There is Interesting texture though.

Have you tried snow dyeing? What results did you get?

Have you tried Lumi’s Inkodye?

A friend and I recently tried out the Lumi Inkodyes, a photosensitive dye product that goes on clear, and changes colour (rapidly) in the sun.

  • First the product is painted on the fabric. (It can de diluted with water to make it thinner.)
  •  Then a variety of objects were placed on top.
  • The fabric (on a piece of cardboard) was then placed in the sun.

Using all kinds of objects on top of the wet dye, we created different effects:

Stamp and brush marks with Inkodye.

Result of stamps placed on the Inkodye, and brush marks with Inkodye.

Stamping with blue Inkodye and effects of mustard seed on the Inkodye

Stamping with blue Inkodye and effects of mustard seed placed on the Inkodye.

Ghost images of maple leaves on red and purple Inkodye.

Ghost images of maple leaves.

Ghost images of maple leaves on red and purple Inkodye.

The effects of maple leaves and thread on Inkodye.


One issue is the initial ammonia smell.  Another is the cost. Each 8 oz. bottle, of one colour,  cost us $14.95, so if you want the basic colours it does get expensive.

  • The Inkodye can also be used to transfer an image from an ink jet transparency to a piece of fabric (or a T-shirt). In this case, the picture is made black and white in a photo program, and then the colours are inverted to create the negative.
  • This negative is then printed on to an inkjet transparency.
  • The Inkodye (colour of choice) is painted on the fabric, then the transparency (ink side up) is placed over the Inkodye. Clips at the outer edge can help to hold all the layers together.
  • The assembly is placed in the sun. Whatever was black on the negative, stays the colour of the original fabric, and the clear parts turn the colour of the Inkodye chosen.

This product works amazingly fast, as you can see the colour changing, as soon as you are close to sunlight. We used it indoors, as well as outdoors with great success.

There are some comments, in other reviews,  that in afternoon light, or on a cloudy day, the Inkodye takes a longer time in the sun, to fully develop the colour. We did notice, that initially we got weird colours, when the dye was just starting to develop its colour. For example, initially the purple looked a weird shade of brown.

Working on a sunny day, in the morning, we found that anywhere from 5 – 15 minutes developed the colour fully.

There are lots of videos on-line if anyone is interested. Here are a few links to get you started:

Jacquard also has a similar product called Solar Fast. Jacquard has already reformulated it recently, and without the ammonia, and improved the colours. It would be interesting to compare these two products in the future.

I have used the Setacolour paints in the past, and enjoyed the results. The Inkodyes certainly change colour faster. I haven’t compared pricing for these two products.

Have you tried the Inkodyes? Let us know what you liked or disliked about them?

Have you used  Setacolour paints, and how would you compare the two products?