Friday, August 24, 2012


This week I went to a friend's place to try indigo dyeing for the first time.  It is much different than dyeing with the Procion dyes that I normally use.  You have to have a warm vat (container) to dip the material in and you have to keep the different variables somewhat balanced.

Also, if you want a dark color, you need to do repeated dippings to build up the color.  The liquid is suppose to be yellow greenish in color.  Ours was more on the green side.  Below is some yarn soaking in the vat.

What's so interesting about the indigo technique is that the material comes out of the vat green and then as it is exposed to air, it changes to the blue color.  Below Mary has just taken the yarn out of the vat.

 The same yarn after a few minutes of being exposed to air.  I can't remember if this was the first dipping of this yarn.  For the fabric, the color would be much lighter.

Here are some of the pieces I did, after they have been rinsed and washed (just ignore the shadow on the fabric).  I see that I could have done a few more dippings in the vat to get an even darker blue.  The thread got darker more easily.  You probably can't tell from the picture, but the two thread holders at the bottom have variegated thread I dyed.

To experiment, I took one piece of fabric, folded it in half and then pleated it.  I held it together with rubber bands.  This is what it looks like.  I think it would be interesting to try smaller pleats.

I also had a piece of blue-green fabric on which I had sewn rows of long running stitches in a kind of wavy pattern.  The stitches were pulled tight to crunch up the fabric. I think a few more dips in the vat to make the color darker would have created more contrast.

I also tried over dyeing a pink piece of fabric to see if it would go violet.  Hmm, kind of.

I definitely have more to learn about perfecting the technique, but it was lots of fun.