Indigo & Shibori

It may seem to my readers that what I’m after in the natural dyeing and printing process is true to life color and clarity in my prints and I’d understand that, but, for me, that’s not the case.  What I’m after is control, so that I can intentionally get a range of effects with my results.  Of course, as in all things natural, Mother Nature rules and always gets her way, so “control” is clearly relative here. This is only my second season at doing this, so I’m pleased with recent results, but I’m sooooo still learning!

Now, I’m adding another dimension to it!  I’ve created my first indigo vat and, although it is in fact, natural dye, it follows its’ own rules: it doesn’t need any mordant and it takes only minutes to dye. So, I started out just to get my hands wet, so to speak, with doing some shibori, overdyeing some previously dyed cloth and with some plain white cotton.

We’ve had a heat wave here for days on end; most of the week in the nineties.Too hot to do much inside the tent, so I did a lot of the shibori folding and clamping indoors with the AC and the TV on watching the conventions.

My first vat was not very successful.  It was a very old and I was very inexperienced at it but I experimented with dyeing some previously eco-printed pieces that were not so great so I wanted to see what would happen if I dyed them with some indigo.  They’re very soft and I think there’s potential here.

So I did some more that turned out very different.Again, interesting to me and lots of room for play here.Now I wish I hadn’t tossed out that first batch because I now think there’s a place for a diluted indigo vat…too late now, though.20160728_193800_2 copy

Meanwhile, I began to get some serious color from using calcium carbonate along with alum acetate, although it’s a lot of yellow and  I think it has an artificial quality to it.

And just a little  more shibori before I go.  Have a great week and thanks for stopping by!








6 thoughts on “Indigo & Shibori

  1. “Yummy fabrics”, Janis. I’ve been thinking of dyeing but your right. It’s been too hot to do anything outside.

    Now, I can’t wait to get my hands in some dye too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looking good! I threw out my first indigo vat, too. That was before I learned how to rejuvenate it. It is a learning process and so much fun. These fabrics all have potential!


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