Monday, February 27, 2017

Indigo Dyeing

 I'm a real procrastinator.. I hate to admit it.. but I am..
Last summer I purchased a package of indigo dye to try out...
but I never used it..

 A couple of weekends ago I actually decided I had to try it  .... the process takes a whole afternoon for one thing so  you need to plan for it... and  the weather needs to be warm and sunny...
Fortunately it's been down right hot/warm around here, which actually is not so good for humanity or nature, but good for the dyeing..  you gotta look on the sunny side of life.

I'm gonna share my experience with you.. forgive the lack of photos of process, I could really use a 3rd arm sometimes..

 First thing to do... acquire your indigo dye. I love Jacquard brand paints and dyes, so I knew I wanted this brand.. I ordered this little box which actually produced quite a bit of dye..
  I wanted to work with towels to start with... so I purchased some flour sack towels from Walmart. They were only a dollar each! Can't beat that!
I had read a bit about folding techniques, I found some old tie dye ideas and also used some shibori folding ideas..
 The tools for the job were:
A five gallon bucket with a lid...
rubber gloves....

 Water for wetting towels before the dye bath

and a long stick for stirring... I don't have a photo.. but trust me on this, you need one..

  I mixed my dye according to the directions, which I think were not very clear.., I let it sit for about an hour, it was supposed to get a foam top, mine never did, but it turned the right color... a slimy, greasy looking gross green...

When I decided my dye bath was ready I put my towels in the water to soak, then I put each towel in the dye bucket very gently, and kind of massaged the dye into the folded layers, but just one at a time..

You have to be calm when you do this, the more the dye is agitated the more the indigo becomes oxidized and you don't want want it to oxidize after the fabric comes out and is exposed to the air..

Can you see the towel I'm putting in the holding bucket is green?
When the fabric comes out of the dye it's green and turns blue as the dye is exposed to the air..

Behold the results, on some towels I used resist method, I painted and image with soy wax just to see how it would look..

A  fish...

 you can probably tell...

An owl...

and some of the folded towels..

I was pleased and I'm going to do more. I learned a lot doing it,
for one thing it is not color fast, not by a long shot.. takes a lot of hot water and soap to rinse the dye out, I also think I have found some cool techniques I want to try using needle and thread....

I'm excited to find this! I've been thinking of all kinds of things I want to dye!

Give it a try!

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