Friday, March 20, 2009

Dye Day Afternoon

On Wednesday, we spent the day with our friends Sono and Zen. The children engaged in a five-hour pillow fight (when they weren't lighting things on fire - those kooky kids!) while Sono and I hit the dye pots. Sono took the intimidation out of indigo dyeing, making it seem not only do-able but easy. My only regret was that I didn't bring over more fleece.

Here we have a 12-harness loom being used as a display area for fleece. I hope it will have other uses soon, but for now, that is a good one.

A sampling of the indigo results. What magic! Indigo works to dye the fleece or yarn or fabric only after it is taken out of the pot - it turns colour right before your eyes. I see why there is much lore around indigo. For some lovely photos of an all-natural 100% homegrown indigo experiment, click here. We didn't ferment our men's urine for weeks nor grow our own indigo. No, we just put some of the pre-ground indigo in the pot along with two other powders and the magic was ours for the taking. The other way sounds very fun and I hope to do it someday, but in the meantime, this was pretty good too.

This lovely orange colour came from over-dyeing some fleece that I dyed yellow last summer (onion skins with a tin mordant) in an Indian madder. I likes it!

This was lac - probably the least successful of our experiments, but nice on these mohair locks.

In a moment of pure inspiration at the last moment, Sono made up a pot of tumeric dye and overdyed some of the fleece that had been in the indigo - the best green ever achieved to date from natural dyes. Remember that one!


island sweet said...

will you teach me how to dye with indigo this summer? please. please.

OfTroy said...

Lac as in shellac?
--I love the color!

and the green.

all of them really..
looks like you had a great day.

LICraftgal said...

Oh such pretty colors!!! Don't you just love dyeing??? Love the green you got!! I can't wait to get the solar dyeing going again, and also another indigo vat. Yep, doing it the same way, hee hee.