Indi-go-go! Dyeing with indigo.

I spent yesterday happily sloshing folded and clamped fabric in buckets of indigo dye with my NTAQ  pals.  Despite the heat and humidity, we spent a full morning folding, clamping and dyeing cotton.

Rhonda and Jaye sloshing fabric in the buckets with dyed pieces drying on the line behind them.
In the next picture, Bethany has just unclamped her piece.  You can see it is still slightly green.  Cotton dyed in indigo comes out of the vat bright green.  Within a few minutes it oxidizes to dark blue.  It's like magic!
Bethany with a clamped piece.
Michelle was dying cotton bolls.  She does weird and wonderful things with cotton bolls.  To dye them, she placed them in a produce bag, the net kind that onions and potatoes come in.
Michelle with the bolls. 
I was dyeing full yards of pimatex cotton.  I had some wooden circles and squares that I clamped around the fabric.  Clamping acts as a resist.  If you place a wooden or metal shape on either side of the folded fabric and clamp it tightly with a c-clamp, the dye cannot penetrate under the shapes.  The circles or squares remain white, the fabric around it is dyed.  My circles and squares had been used before for clamp dyeing.  Apparently in fuchsia and yellow dye baths, and apparently I hadn't really washed them off.  The old fuchsia and yellow dye came off the shapes into my white parts.  I like the result.
A happy accident!
I can't seem to dye without getting it all over myself.  Usually my hands and feet.  Yesterday, I had stripes of blue on my face.
At the end of the morning, we had dyed a lot of fabric.  And made some really wonderful patterns and textures.
A lot of indigo-dyed fabric.  And that's only half of it!
 I couldn't attend the meeting last month, so everyone was nice enough to bring their challenge piece from May.  I had gone through my scraps and made everyone a packet.  They were pretty much the same, each containing approximately three yards.  We were allowed to add one light and one dark fabric to the mix.  It's amazing how different our pieces turned out with the same initial palette.
My piece is top center.  
I just washed out my fabrics.  Here are a few of my favorites:

I think I needed to dip these again to get a darker blue.  I've bought some reduced indigo crystals, and I'll be trying again soon.  I'll keep you posted.


Vera Holmgren said…
Really interesting to see the differences in all work from the meeting you missed. Thanks for sharing.
chemistafloat said…
Think of your blue stripes as "war paint"....maybe that makes you an art-warrior.