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Thursday, 29 August 2019

Experiments with INDIGO #2 Process

The weather’s changed, the wind has calmed down and I’ve been able to 
continue with the indigo experiments over the past few days… 
The vat’s up and ready, with everything assembled in the garden…




I began by dyeing the soaked fabrics, prepared with different
 shibori techniques - folded, stitched, tied and gathered with 
threads, elastic bands and clamps… 

Carefully submerging them into the vat, without introducing too much oxygen


soon the bundles were coming out of the dye,  
at first bright turquoise, quickly changing to deeper intense blues
as the indigo oxidised in the air…


The linen, silk and cotton fabrics all reacted so differently,
with varying shades of colour  

I did dip some a second and third time, here rinsed and left to dry….


The FELT pods and pebbles were always going to prove interesting!


I carefully siphoned small quantities of dye into shallow bowls using a pipette, 
(so the indigo didn't come into contact with too much oxygen) 
and allowed the wetted felt to soak up dye. 
I wanted random effects with some areas deliberately left white and paler…


After 10 -15 mins they were removed, left to oxidise, then rinsed.


Next came the Khadi sketchbook with all the prepared pages…  

The cotton rag pages had been soaking in water for about half an hour, 
to make them more receptive to the indigo once in the vat
BUT I was unaware that this had also weakened the glue binding…


Unfortunately, after about 10 mins in the vat, disaster struck...
The book was heavy, all the pages gave way and had to be quickly retrieved... 
Lots of lovely blue pages, but NOW loose leaf… 


And an unexpected re-binding challenge!!!!  

All the various pieces of fabric, felt and papers have now been left to 
thoroughly dry out. 

As is often the case the experiences and benefits of the practical 
PROCESS far outweigh any of the resulting PRODUCTS…

It's been extremely experimental, and enlightening!
I’ve learnt a lot and had great fun in the process, 
and I shall be sharing more results in the next blog post, 
coming up soon….

And don't forget you can click on any photo to see more details!

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