The Fiber Junkies have been wanting to play with Indigo dyeing techniques for as long as we've been a group. Finally.....we did it!Hosted by Judy Simmons, we arrived with our supplies which were added to Judy's ample resists for everyone to share.
Judy had been doing some test dyeing ahead of our gathering and was pleased with the possibilities of using super large Lima beans. However, she learned NOT to leave them in the solution too long.....as they absorb the moisture and explode... Yes, really.....they got so big in their confined thread tied cocoon that when enlarged, holes were created in the fabric!!!
We decided to try dyeing a variety of fabrics.....natural fibers achieved the best color, however it was fun to use some poly. blends as well which yielded lighter a lighter color.
Here I accordion folded this fabric scrap, tied it with a string and added my 'code' a red ribbon....so we could tell which piece belonged to who.....not as easy as you'd think once they are dipped!
I'm partial to lines/stripes/plaids.....so here I folded some cotton sateen which was held in place using paper clips.
Clamps were another method we used to successfully secure 'resist items'....in this case hair curlers. We spent most of the morning preparing our fabric....it is far more time consuming than you'd imagine.
Then we headed outside where Judy had the indigo dye mixture ready....the bubbles you see on the top is called the 'flower'.....it must be removed, saved and returned after dyeing to keep the dye pot 'live'.
Rubber gloves ready.....and here we go....Kate had prepared some cotton fabric by hand smocking it...... The fabric is held in the dye pot for only about 3-5 minutes. It's a beautiful green when removed and within less than a minute....
.....it turns that lovely, lovely indigo blue color we all treasure.
Besides working with white fabrics, we experimented with others as well. Here's a piece of deconstructed screen printing I made some time ago that I wasn't thrilled with. I cut it into smaller sections and in one piece, I trapped marbles using rubber bands.Here's the result after dyeing......one of my faves of the stash I dyed....though quite honestly.....every one was a favorite, esp. as it is untethered from its rubber bands/string/or clamps.
I'll be linking this to Nina Marie's Off The Wall Friday.....on Friday.....so follow this link then to explore what other artists are doing. Also, be sure to check back on tomorrow when I will share more results from our dyeing day!