Tuesday, 17 July 2012

indigo Dyeing Day

Last Saturday my local branch of embroiderers' Guild held a dyeing day using Indigo and Procion Dyes. I had done some preparation in a Shibori style on various fabrics such as cotton, turban cotton, silk and linen. At about 5 o'clock on Saturday morning I woke with a start and felt the need to apply some wax resist to some fabrics!! This i did hastily with a malted candle heated on the cooker and a brush.

 In fact when my husband came down to breakfast and I was surrounded by string, beads, melted candles, brushes elastic bands, and piles of cut fabric, his comment was this: "Are you doing hundred and one things before you dye?"

When us eleven girls met we set up an indigo vat. I was fascinated by the chemical process. Our complex bundles were duly dipped. They emerged green and, on hitting the air, the dye oxidised and turned blue.
I took a second dipping to mine as I wanted a darker shade.

When I got home they were washed and dried - I love them draped over the Aga.
In the afternoon we dyed using Procion dyes. One colour run each and then some space dying of threads and fabric.

I deliberately chose colours I never work with as a challenge to see what I can make with them. They are very cheerful in this rainy old weather. Here they are drying:
I quite fancy some prayer flags or bunting?? I don't know yet.
That evening I was in the garden and there were some lovely matching cornflowers crying out to be picked.
We all now have to make a 12" piece with our dyed fabrics for our next meeting in September. Watch this space!!


  1. Oooh. . I'm so jealous of those fabrics! How clever to get the flowers to match?
    Love the Aga pictures. Can't wait to see what you produce with the fabrics.x

  2. You certainly had a productive day! The colours you don't often work with are my favourite ones. I too can't wait to see what you make out of them.

  3. I love it when you iron your dyed cloth. I must try indigo dyeing, your samples look great.

  4. What a fun day you had - and i love the story of your early morning preparations and the Mr's reaction! xxoo, sus

  5. What fun! I'm on a dyeing workshop next month but I'd love to try indigo dyeing as well!
    Can you recommend somewhere to get threads for dyeing? I'd love to try dyeing them on my course

  6. Great results Clare. A really fortuitous find with the flower.

  7. What a wonderful selection of fabrics you have created - looking forward to seeing what you do with them.

  8. Oh how much fun! So many possibilities.

  9. Just love those indigo fabrics - what a treasure!

  10. Your fabrics turned out brilliantly. I adore the indigo ones, such a great variety of patterns.


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