Saturday, 10 April 2010

I'm an indigo slave!

My experiment with an early indigo vat is far exceeding my 
expectations.  I had a few stitched pieces to hand, fabric to
over dye, old shirts and jeans to refresh, some old embroidered 
linen etc. At the end of the  day a basketful of blue.

Today was going to be the big test.  Could I revive the vat
 with a heating element?  Well yes I could!  The sun is still
shining, the temperature slightly cooler than yesterday.
So whilst waiting, I frantically stitched more lengths of
cloth, very time consuming - out with the clamps.

The view from my workroom

The two dark pieces are mokume shibori 
and bandhani spots.  The long length
is clamped cotton

Soft linen found in a cupboard!  You see how desperate
I have become!  Previously dyed, a bit pale so back
into the vat.

For today I am indigoed out.  Lessons learnt.
1. All is possible.    2.  Always have to hand prepared
fabric.  I believe the Japanese spend all winter stitching
ready to go in the spring,   

Guess it's time for a tea ceremony and back to 
stitching.  The vat still has plenty of life in it.  
Tomorrow maybe another hard day serving the
indigo spirit.


Eva said...

pieces of the sky! Great.

jude said...

oh my.... open a shop!

Jacky said...

Yes please, open a shop! I can only imagine the satisfaction you must get when you take these out of the vat and hang them out.
Your clothes line looks amazing.

Tiggy Rawling said...

I certainly have a bundle of blue waiting for washing.
Perhaps I should open a shop. I'll have a serious think. The experiment worked so well. I now have a 'serious' heater. I am wondering whether today I might be able to revive the vat once more, although it was very cold last night.

magsramsay said...

I know what you mean about running out of prepared fabrics . When I've done the occasional indigo workshop (on other peoples premises) I go laden with pre stitched and tied samples but never enough!
Instead of a shop (I'm not sure if it were me I could ever part with anything!) what about dyeing service/access to vat.
Not having facilities to dye ,I would happily pay to send off my samples for dyeing - I'm sure others would too.

Tiggy Rawling said...

Hi Mags. In August 2009 I was going to have ad hoc indigo session, come and learn shibori, or just dip! Terrible weather so no-go. Same hopes this year. Now the 'vat for all seasons' (except the winter!) might make it possible. Hmm...indigo dyeing service, that's something I will have to think about!

reensstitcher said...

Like Mags, I would appreciate an opportunity to acquire some indigo cloth. I could come to you depending on when you are thinking of doing a workshop, or I guess I could just stitch and send. I am not however, going to do it myself at home! My bowl of (a few) rusting items is enough for the moment.

Clare Wassermann said...

wow wonderful blueness - I have really enjoyed your blog...thanks, By the way loved your work at the NEC

Anonymous said...

I live in South Dakota and winter is long here. I don't dye but I do discharge shibori on cotton. I use bleach and my fellow house members don't like it when I have a bleach session in the winter because it stinks. So this winter I have stitched, bound, folded, braided, and any other way of manipulating the fabric in preperation for warm weather bleaching. I have a basket full of stuff and if the sun comes out of the clouds today I will have a new batch of fabric to use. Yipee!
When you mentioned the Japanese stitching all winter I feel connected to the tradition.
Diane (easily amused in SD)

Velma said...

wonderful stuff, and i have greenhouse envy. can't help it.

Tiggy Rawling said...

We all seem to be involved in stinky things! I discharge my dyed fabric with Thiox, not exactly the scent of roses. With indigo I actually have a non smelly option!

I am loving my Bluehouse, and we were thinking of taking it down. I can see me decorating it with flags and dangly things, making it my own. Not sure how that will go down with himself!

Tiggy Rawling said...
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