Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Indigo Dyeing

I've always wanted to try Indigo dyeing. I had the opportunity once in a Yashiko Wada workshop. She was in Asheville for an art related event and did a one day deal but covered many of her processes so our time with the Indigo pot was limited.  I worked frantically to get some pieces done but never saw the actual process of how the pot was set up. I've done some reading and the real deal uses lye which does not appeal to me.  Pro Chemical came out with pre-reduced Indigo - no lye is involved, only Thiox and soda ash - things I'm more comfortable with. 
 I gathered up fabrics I wanted to try - natural fibers only were recommended.  I used all kinds of silk and some pfd cotton.  I also used a piece of deconstructed screen printed fabric to see what would happen.
 I did the wrapped Shibori using silk broadcloth on a pvc pipe. My friend Kay who is a master at this would know the correct term for this type of Shibori.
 Some of the thinner silks (organza) I wadded up and wrapped with rubber bands.
 I used some pieces of plexi glass and clamps to manipulate a piece of silk charmeuse.
 This was a wadded up piece of silk chiffon held in place with rubber bands.  The thinner silks work well with this type of manipulation.
 I had a lot of bobbins left from an older machine.  I knew they would come in handy someday.
 I used gimp cord and wrapped around the middle as well as the bottom of each bobbin.  I kept the thread continuous instead of cutting and ending off each time It's easier for removal.
 The old plastic outlet covers should give an interesting shape.
 Here is my pile of treasures ready to be soaked in a bucket of water for at least 30 mins.
 I added some new clamps to my bucket of resist tools. I found these at Home Depot. They are plastic but strong enough for clamping fabric. The man told me they weren't good for clamping wood...well not too worry, these are not going anywhere near wood.
 And a good deal - 22 of them - all sizes for $8.99
So while the fabric is soaking, I'll start on my bucket of Indigo. Stay tuned...


  1. wow! I can't wait to see how these turn out! I may have to "borrow" you bobbin dyeing technique!

  2. I can't wait to see what you get! Especially from the bobbins.... Looks like it could be really cool!

  3. Looking forward to seeing how these all turn out.

  4. Wow! great ideas - I'm going to start dyeing next week~