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!