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colour me blue

March 9, 2013

it is still too cold outside to get the indigo vat going

but I was feeling the need for some blue

this is 1/4 of the woven shibori first seen hereshibori 127

1/2 of the 6 yards,  is still waiting to be dyed in the big vat

 I am gathering the remaining  1/4 without putting it around a pole

it is not very exciting for so much work, won’t do that again!

next came some katazome practice pieces using rice paste resistindigo 095

on cotton

and a large linen damask napkin

indigo 090

I enjoy over-dyeing the old damask pieces because the patterns show up so beautifully

indigo 094

then some 22/2 silk, first mordanted in alum and dyed with 20% wof  in myrobalan

top dyed in indigo, after excessive amounts of rinsing much of the indigo washed out and left a very uneven green. I’m trying to decide whether to dye again.

indigo 103

and then a real disaster

the second bag ready for dyeing and fulling literally fell apart when I started the felting process. Maybe the indigo vat was too strong for the wool??


I threw it into the jeans wash and then the dryer, maybe I can selvage a small piece for a coin purse!

it is a sunny, warm day so I took myself off to the beach, looking for flower stones

indigo 101

and learned a lesson, a straight line doesn’t always get you where you want to go.

and only one tiny “wanna-be” flower stone

10 Comments leave one →
  1. March 11, 2013 10:22 am

    It’s quite possible the pH was too high for the delicate wool. So sad! The colour was good. And the disappointing results on the silk yarn has happened to me before too. Usually when my vat was getting quite depleted and there’s too much oxygen causing the remaining indigo to become insoluble. At least I think that’s the reason! I’m always trying to squeeze the last bit of colour especially when it’s my home-grown stuff. Sometimes it’s just not worth it though. Hope you can salvage it!


    • March 11, 2013 2:30 pm

      Louisa – yes I believe it was the pH with the wool but the vat is VERY strong so that was not the case with the silk – silk is hit and miss with indigo, the Japanese get really strong colour on some silks but they will tell you that silk doesn’t dye well in indigo, go figure?? I have done a second dip but of course the green won’t be as pronounced.


  2. March 11, 2013 3:09 am

    as i see it failures are excellent learning if i could only remember to take notes.


  3. March 10, 2013 9:59 am

    So, do you not like the results of the woven shibori? Was it more work than hand stitching? I like the indigo silk…it looks like an interesting antique. It seems the path less traveled can be rather out-of-control sometimes. Safe usually = boredom. Luckily, there is alway more fiber!


    • March 10, 2013 10:11 am

      Kristin – the results of woven and stitched are very different, both are such a lot of work. I like to experiment. I too feel safe = boring, it’s only by taking risks that you learn, get the occasional thrilling breakthrough – and sometimes failure!


  4. March 10, 2013 4:31 am

    i think days like these are meant for us not to despair and burn our tools! or worse, but to go to the shore and look at stones. somedays our hands and skills go walking and we make messes. but most days, most days the fiber sings.


    • March 10, 2013 8:41 am

      Velma – fortunately I don’t have too many total disasters but I think they are necessary – calls to pay attention.


  5. Sylvia permalink
    March 9, 2013 6:41 pm

    But, ummm, just thinking… Could the damaged piece make something larger than a purse? Perhaps the holes could be reinforced with embroidery, and become a design element..Then the piece might become an overblouse or no-button jacket? The holes could become beautiful.


    • March 9, 2013 7:49 pm

      Sylvia – thanks but it has been felted and is now small and too damaged to put all that extra work into it. Sometimes you have to know when to quit!


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