Saturday, May 31, 2008

Shibori dyeing with Jane Callender

I spent today with Jane Callender
learning the basics of Shibori/Indigo dyeing. The Shibori bit is the folding/stitching/squishing of the fabric. We are using a traditional Indigo vat. When you put the chemicals in the water and stir, this bloom thingy slowly appears. It is fascinating and not nearly as smelly as I expected.

We learned how to fold, wrap and tie the fabric onto a pole, then dunked it into the vat. When the pole is lifted out of the vat the fabric is a bright green but it immediately starts to darken and turn blue. We dipped for one minute and then left the pole in the air for 1/2 hour to allow the fabric to absorb the dye, then dipped again. Silk was dipped twice but the cotton pieces were dipped four times.
Here's a pic of the fabric resting in between dips. We have left these to dry overnight and will take them off the poles and rinse tomorrow. Then I will know whether I pulled the strings tight enough....
Homework for tonight is to stitch some fabric ready to dye tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My Studio

Here is my studio finally finished. Since the builders left I have painted the walls (twice), hung cork on one wall and painted it (twice.) Sealed the floor (twice) and painted that. My shelves are up, my furniture moved in and the last box was moved over today.

This is my 'making a mess' area, with sink, running water and stuff. The tea urn is to heat the water to rinse off all the lovely dyed fabric and threads that I have planned. I scavenged the old microwave so that I can dye wool and silk too. Now that I have my own space outside the house, I hope to learn how to solder properly and maybe give my blowtorch a bit of a workout.

This is the other end of my studio workshop. This is the space for sewing and other textile crafts. The table is just the right height for printing onto my newly dyed fabrics.

All of my stuff has been sorted, boxed and has labels. In addition I have cleared out my old workroom (aka back bedroom) and re-decorated it so that my gorgeous grand-daughter has a pretty room to sleep in when she comes to stay. At this moment in time I know where everything is! Which is just as well, as I have two x two day workshops in the next two weeks, Alysn Midgelow Marsdon is coming to Sleaford Embroiderers to teach us about using metals in our work, and then Jane Callender will be teaching shibori and Indigo dyeing at the Lincoln Bailgate embroiderers guild.