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Thursday, 8 August 2019

EXPERIMENTS with INDIGO #1

The long hot summer continues...
 with temperatures breaking records all across Europe. 
Traditionally indigo dyeing has taken place in locations much warmer than 
the Isle of Wight, so the unusually hot conditions here are perfect for my
 indigo experiments!

Preparations have been ongoing over the past weeks.
I'm using many fabrics -  cottons, linens and silks - left over from 
my Rust Dyeing in 2017,  however this time my main focus is to experiment 
with indigo dyeing FELT…

I’ve felted a series of 3-D natural organic forms - pods, shells and pebbles shapes.


 They're all ready for dyeing and I’m keen to see how these felted shapes will 
react in the dye vat - I’m hoping for some totally random-dyed effects…

I’ve also prepared some pieces of felt which are tied, pleated and stitched with 
shibori techniques. I’ve tried this before with coloured pre-felts 
and you can follow this link to Shibori Workshops.


 These latest felt pieces are pure white and ready to dye… 
along with the other cottons, silks and linen fabrics…

As with the rust experiments I also want to try dyeing paper.
 I've used a Khadi sketchbook, preparing the pages for dyeing with different 
‘shibori’ style pleats and folds, pegged and stitched into place

.
 Folding the hand-made 100% cotton rag paper has certain similarities to
the more traditional folds with fabric, but it also displays very different qualities...


I’ve been able to tear and cut the paper, wrap it around sticks, use wax and
 origami-type folds secured in place to form areas that act as resists,
 which prevent the dye colour from penetrating the paper, 
creating white patches + a range of lighter blue tones...

Indigo dyeing is a totally new adventure for me!
I’ve read as much as I can find in books and on-line. 



BUT this is extremely experimental and I’m really excited to see 
whether or not any of it works…

It’s been just as challenging to create all the different 3-D felt shapes


 AND the ‘pre-dyed’ paper book


So now all the fabric materials, utensils and equipment are assembled, 
prepared and ready to go to the next stage…  

BUT we have some very severe weather warnings ahead 
so I’m having to wait for the winds to drop and calmer, warmer days,
 when hopefully the indigo will be able to do it’s magic…..


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