Saturday, March 17, 2012

Indigo Dyeing Weekend.

I've been a bit slow getting up my photos from my weekend away at Jacky's Marsh, largely due to being incapacitated by a severe migraine induced by sitting in the sun, breathing the fumes from the natural dye baths and forgetting to eat and drink during the workshop.  Anyway, the picture below gives you an idea of just how spectacular the views were.


Shelter that can double as an outdoor kitchen with some early removals from the natural dye pots hanging on the line.

Ralf and Mahdi pull the first samples out of the weld pot.  (Weld is an English plant that dyes in yellow shades.  It grows as a weed along many roadsides in Tasmania.  Nice to know that a noxious feral plant has some use at least.)


Mahdi's weld parcel........

and after opening.

Silk dyes very readily when using eucalyptus cordata.

Early samples from the indigo pot

This was the best piece I managed to dye all weekend.  It's a piece of habotai silk that I underdyed using bright orange and pink colours.  I then simply tied the silk at regular intervals (the fabric was scrunched rather than folded before tying).



The close up shots show some of the gorgeous markings.......


and parts where the underdyed colour showed through.  I liked it so much I decided to use it as a curtain for the end of my hallway.  It was a great relief to replace the hideous match stick blind that I have been living with for the last 6 years.

Here's how the curtain looks during the day.  Of course the hallway is much brighter during the day, but I had to adjust the lighting effects to capture how the sun shines through the silk.

Here's how the curtain looks at night.

Before I got that lovely piece of habotai out of the pot everything I had dyed looked revolting.  These homespun cotton samples were underdyed in the weld, cordata and the wattle bark.  Cotton does not take natural dyes very well.  As a result what I pulled out of the vats looked like dirty polishing cloths.  YUK!

After doing some shibori and overdyeing in the indigo I got some ok results.  I'll use these for wrapping presents.

This is a crinkle chiffon scarf that I dyed red and then resisted with rubber bands.

Here's how it looked straight out of the indigo........

and after removing the resist bands and drying.  I was a bit disappointed because I was hoping for solid red circles, although now I realise that to get that effect I would have had to sew them, which would have taken a couple of days work, time I didn't have.


This is the scarf that I showed in a previous post which I spent 6 hours stitching.  Unfortunately the scarf was in the indigo too long and I lost most of the colour of the underdye.  However,  the alternating pattern of folds is as I was hoping.  I intend to not iron it so that the folds remain.  It'll make a great scarf this winter.

Overall a lovely weekend (despite the monster migraine) and I learned heaps, which is, after all the point of it all.



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2 comments:

Marie Costa said...

I feel for you about the migraine, hope you feel better soon.

So many luscious fabrics in these photos! The crinkled silk is gorgeous.

Marta Brysha said...

Thanks Maria. Migraine is all gone and I took 4 days off to just chill out and get over it. Started a new piece in the studio yesterday. It's large and ambitious. Hope I'm up to the challenge.