A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.
Friday, September 30, 2016
A pdf of instructions for indigo and woad can be found here: Indigo and Woad.
Read more about new discoveries of the oldest indigo textiles here.
"The discovery of indigo dye more than 6,000 years ago couldn't have been mere happenstance. Indigo dye is quite complicated to make, Splistoser said. Many dyes are made from flowers and require simply boiling the blossoms in water to extract the color, he said."
"'Indigo does not work that way,' he said. 'If you put the leaves — and it's leaves, not flowers — in water, nothing will happen.'"
"Instead, the leaves have to be fermented. Then, the fermented mixture must be aerated so that a solid compound falls out of the mixture to the bottom of the tub. This mixture can be taken, dried and stored. To reconstitute it requires an alkaline substance, often urine, which makes white indigo, a water-soluble compound. Yarn dipped in white indigo will turn yellow, green and finally blue, 'like magic,' Splitstoser said."
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Besides the ikat dyeing and weaving, we also had some fabric and clay to play with. A slurry of these three ingredients was mixed up.
So the result was pretty light after one dip in the indigo. Of course, the vat could have been weakened by use as well, it was a busy workshop.
So back to the clay. This time with a brush, applying the clay very heavily. So much clay that the fabric curled up as it dried.
Contrast was much better. The indigo did not creep into the design from the other side of the cloth since the clay penetrated better with the brushing technique.
I've enjoyed sharing my experiences with indigo and hope to hear about what you would do if you had a vat of indigo living at your house.
Monday, September 26, 2016
Here is the linen, finished and ironed. A nice repeat that would be a cool background for embroidery.
In every workshop there is at least one nugget of information that is memorable and worth the fare. First it was test pH before adding indigo and then this one! Double bonus in this workshop. Connie uses pony beads to begin her stitching lines. Below you see them before she has pulled up the stitching and they are obviously reusable as you can see by their color.
Below is one of her shibori dragonfly napkins...
I see reflections in a skyscraper window. A little wavy; a little shadowy. Again, I think some embroidery is in its future.
Friday, September 23, 2016
I can almost see all the needle marks on this one to figure out how the stitching was done.
"Adire are indigo resist dyed cotton cloths that were made by women throughout Yorubaland" according to the Victoria and Albert Museum site - click here to read the entire article.
This is a different textile and I didn't make note of the pigment or dye used to create the rosy areas. I love the texture retained after the stitching was removed.
Another fabric with similar design and colors but smoothed to show the stitching lines.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Monday, September 19, 2016
This is the cotton yarn after it was wetted out. I had measured it out on a warping board - forgot to take a photo of that step. While it is stretched in place on the warping board is the time to wrap it with the ikat tape which will maintain white areas against an indigo background. You can wrap the whole warp or you can split it and wrap parts of it. I experimented with no real pattern in mind. I was standing next to Shelly who was also measuring a warp and we were enjoying a lively conversation - no time for concentration or measuring carefully. Workshops are a great way to get to know people you might never have bumped into ordinarily. Below is my dyed warp drip drying in front of someone's dyed cloth.
After rinsing and drying, this is warp tied with the green ikat tape and the skein of dyed cotton for the weft.
The opportunity to warp the looms at the workshop was there, but we were running out of time and most of us were weavers with looms at home.
I decided to use the remainder of the warp as weft and it's coming along great, IMO! :) I did a line of hemstitching at the beginning and the excess which is tied to the loom (and looks like a jumbled mess at the bottom of the photo) will become the tasseled fringes. Crossing my fingers I have enough weft dyed to weave enough to hang around someones neck.
Here is the weaving a little farther along and you can see I split the warp when I was wrapped it with ikat tape. I'm weaving this part with some of the leftover warp. The horizontal white bits in the woven part are caused by the color of the weft.
There was two inches of weft left after hemstitching the final end. Then I tasseled the fringes and after this final photo was taken, I dunked it into cool soapy water and swished out any remaining indigo. It's drying now and will need a bit of a press. So happy to be finished with this one.
Friday, September 16, 2016
After we had measured and wrapped the resist tape tightly on the weft, the wool was wetted out and dipped into one of the two indigo pots we had mixed up a couple of days before following the instructions from Sara Goodman, the indigo teacher for this workshop. The weft bundles are the ones with the white areas hanging on the drying rack. They have been washed with mild soap and rinsed thoroughly.
Now it was time to begin weaving and Mary Zigafoose, tapestry artist, who was the other half of the teaching team for this workshop, took over again. She is second from the right in the photo below.
Here is the weft turned the other way and sitting on the loom I was going to use at the workshop. This was the point at which I wound the weft on a shuttle beginning with the end that is closest to the bottom of the photo and ending with the last bit that is at the top of the photo. That way when I begin to weave the design will end up oriented in the direction I intended - not that it's a realistic image... :) but it's sort of a house shape.