Thursday, September 1, 2016

Indigo Love

Recently I took an all-day indigo dyeing class with Ruth Chandler from Colorado Springs. Ruth grew up in Japan and learned to sew and dye from her Japanese adopted grandmother. We were to have brought our fabrics, clamped or stitched, ready to dye. It was a beautiful August day with brilliant sunshine. Ten of us oohed and ahhed all day at each others' work.

This tunic is 100% silk with some texture, possibly tussah? It has a lovely drape and responded well to the indigo dye. I folded and pressed the fabric lengthwise in accordian folds of about 4". Then I folded the fabric crosswise the same way. I left about 10" hanging from one edge of the folded up squares for the bottom. I clamped 4" wood squares on each side prior to dyeing. Each piece (front and back) were dyed at the same time, a total of twice in the vat. After the second dip, I removed the squares and without unfolding, added wooden circles to each side and dyed again.

I decided the inner squares could be a bit more defined and so I refolded and dipped the material and placed wooden circles at various points on the inside of the folds as well as each side.

Here's a grouping of the other items I dyed that day.

Below is a pole-wrapped rayon knit.

I pole-dyed enough of this teal silk to make a tunic with a gathered skirt.

Same silk as the above tunic for a scarf. The circles are about 8" in diameter.

This started as a grey wool jersey that I stitched across and gathered tight. It will make a great knit shirt of winter.

I dyed a few more pieces that day to be featured in another post. It was incredibly fun, and I recommend it to any fabric fanatic!

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