Saturday, April 4, 2015

Indigo Blue

Last weekend I had the rare luxury of participating in an Indigo dyeing workshop, held on the Sunshine Coast with textile artist Jenai Hooke.

The indigo dye process is a very natural organic experience, where the dye vats are treated with reverence as living things, and care must be taken not to unbalance the indigo brew.  Its a slow dyeing process from preparation of the vats, washing and mordanting the fabric, manipulating the fabric with stitches, knots and folds, then the dyeing and post-dye treatments - rinsing, washing and setting.

It was a pleasurable process in a peaceful country setting with friends and gorgeous alpacas.  And being the paper-obsessed person that I am, I was able to dye some paper as well.

Happy times!

The Indigo Vat, complete with the indigo 'flower'
which indicates a healthy vat

Jenai and Nicky unravelling Nicky's scarf
after dipping in the vat, oxygenating the fabric so the
dye turns its wonderful blue colour

This is a t-shirt I concertina folded then bound.
This photo shows it after a dip in the indigo vat.
The finished t-shirt, the top of it was dyed without folding.
I love the pattern the bundling created.
Easy for me too as it didn't involve stitching!
A close-up of the bundling pattern, you can
see the string marks.
Dyeing some paper

The paper drying, the bubbles from the surface of the vat
created beautiful patterns.  I'll print onto these.
A silk scarf that I indigo dyed over top of
some eco-dyeing that I did.
The circle patterns were made with glass beads
 and chick peas secured with rubber bands.

Everyone admiring our combined indigo handiwork.
And the Alpacas - the little brown one was born
whilst we did the workshop.  Too cute!