Friday, 13 September 2013

Studio Series: Indigo dyeing round 2

Indigo vat; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2013
For those who have never dyed with indigo before, above is a healthy vat just waiting to be used. Indigo dyeing is an art form that takes time and experience to master. This is only my second solo vat, so I still have much to learn.
Indigo dyed fabrics; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2013
My local fabric shop brought in some of the Parson Gray line last year, but not in the blues that I had been hoping for. No worries. I scoured Starcomb and dipped it a few times until I had the shade that I wanted. I made a few coasters with it and will share them another time.
Indigo dyed fabric pile; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2013
Along the way, I over-dyed a whack of fabrics that really wanted to be blue. As for experience, I gain it from making mistakes. I had a few fabrics that wouldn't dye as deeply as I envisioned, so I decided to let them cure, wash them and then level them up. Wrong move. What I learned is that by redipping the previously indigo dyed and then washed fabrics, I basically erased all the indigo from round one and started over. That's good news and bad news because I have some really ugly fabric from round two and I know that they have the potential to be redeemed next summer when I start indigo vat number three.
Indigo dyed linens; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2013
What I also learned is that some fabrics, like the above linen napkins, can only reach a certain colour depth no matter how many times that I dip them. Now I'm getting ready to dye with onion skins and other natural dyestuff.

1 comment:

Judy Martin said...

I have missed natural dyeing this summer, so busy with weddings and travel and exhibition finalizing and my dad.

But it is inspiring to read and see what you have been doing.

Maybe when I come back from Thunder Bay, I will do something with the onion skins I have been saving.

Beautiful napkins - I like them.