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.

12 comments:

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...

Luscious!!
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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