|My spoils of the day|
Here's what I did get:
Our presenters, Lauren and Wisteria, show off the shirts they dyed in last year's class, as well as some of their designs on cloth:
I unfortunately missed the beginning of the presentation, but there was a slideshow of indigo dyeing from around the world, a bit about the history of indigo, and everyone got a handout with a book list for further study. They also passed around several examples of really gorgeous indigo pieces like this one from Thailand:
I meant to go back and take photos of all of the examples, but I got so engrossed in the dyeing process that I forgot.
Everyone got 5 cotton napkins to experiment with, and we were also encouraged to bring our own pieces from home. I brought three different fabrics, but I'll get to them later.
Lauren showed us how to go about dipping our pieces:
The dye vats were three five-gallon buckets that had been prepared ahead of time. Each had formed a "bloom" on top:
But when you dipped your cloth into it...
...it was green underneath!
|Reminded me of a blueberry.|
But with exposure to the air, the dye would begin to oxidize, and you could see it turn blue before your eyes:
They had provided several different materials for us to use to make patterns on our cloth, such as clothspins, rubber bands, wood blocks, popsicle sticks, yarn, and Elmer's glue.
I started with the glue, because I knew it would need to dry before I could dunk it. I thought it would be fun to get a resist pattern, so I had to try it. I improvised a flower design, which is very hard to see here:
And here is how it looked after dyeing, rinsing, and taking it home where it was washed with mild detergent and dryed:
|Not all of the glue had fully dried before I dyed it, so the one corner got a bit smudged.|
For the upper left image, I used rubber bands to take up concentric circles:
Which took forever! And tons of rubber bands. I was busy doing this while everyone else was already dyeing, and I kept running out of rubber bands and ended up pilfering used ones from other people - which is why some of them are blue:
|I didn't notice one of my rubber bands had popped off until after I dyed it.|
I had tied/looped long strands of yarn on each so that I could easily fish them out of the bucket, as I had seen some other participants doing. First they got dunked in clear water to wet them thoroughly:
Then into the bucket they went!
After the first dip, you can see they were quite green:
But the blue color came out pretty quickly as I held them in the air:
Back in for another dunk:
I gave them both a quick rinse before undoing my bindings.
The back side of the left one looked like clumsy smocking:
And here is how they turned out:
It came out like this:
And for the final one I went with an accordion pleat and parallel rows of clothespins:
It ended up being one of my favorite ones!
I had brought three pieces of fabric from home - a yard of plain cotton voile to make into an 18th-Century kerchief, which I attempted to dye an even, pale blue. I ended up dipping it twice because the color did not come out evenly the first time, so it's darker than I intended:
|But still pretty.|
This was when it was still wet, of course. Here it is dry:
I plan to make this into a Regency dress for Reptar. It's still fairly sheer, so I'll need to make her a shift, too:
My final piece was about a yard and a half of polished cotton, leftover from the lining of the curtains I used to make my Gold Francaise Gown. I wanted a fun pattern on this one, so I started with a diagonal fold:
I then folded accordion pleats once again, and when I got it all pleated I folded the entire thing in half down the length, making sure the long center section was on the outside where it would absorb the most dye. And I made a pattern of clothespins along the edges:
And this is the result:
I was very happy with this piece! I think I'm going to make it into a skirt.
Of course now I want to dye ALL OF THE THINGS! I may have to see about getting my own indigo dyeing kit someday.