Thursday, March 17, 2011

step one

i've been teaching so many natural dye classes at the workroom, but felt like i hadn't been doing much dyeing of my own lately.  my hats keeps me so busy for so much of the year, but the late winter and spring is when i have the most time to play and experiment, and it's this that i'd like to be sharing with you here.

so, i wanted to play around with some basic shibori techniques, and decided that scarves are an easy vehicle to start with.  shibori is generally done with indigo or other vat dyes, but i wanted to see if i could have some success using immersion dyeing.

as always with natural dyeing, i began with mordanting the fabric, first with a tannin, since my fabric is a plant fibre (i found some lovely bamboo jersey which is super soft and has a beautiful drape), and then with a combination of alum and tartar.  i'm more used to dyeing wool, which doesn't require the tannin step, and i'm always a bit surprised at how brown the tannin turns the fabric:

next i decided to begin with a first layer of colour, unlike traditional shibori, where you would begin with white fabric.  i had six scarves, so i dyed three with osage and three with cochineal. the resulting colours were a lovely and soft yellow and pink:

i have the scarves all clamped and bound up now, ready for the next layer of colour......

1 comment:

  1. so nice to have found your blog (through Margie) almost from the beginning.

    looking forward to your posts