In the Dye Studio: The Indigo + Shibori Dye Kit

In the Dye Studio: The Indigo + Shibori Dye Kit

Yesterday we spent the morning helping with the second harvest of indigo for our #avfkwindigoproject! It's so refreshing being out in the field, in this case with the fog rolling by and the birds overhead. It was a lot of work, and we have a lot of processing to do now, but it's fun to have new scenery for a day!

Today I wanted to share one of our "big" kits that work alongside The Modern Natural Dyer. We have three: the Dye Kit for Knitters, the Dye Kit for Sewists, and the Indigo + Shibori Dye Kit. Each kit has three projects from MND and includes all the materials, scours, mordants, dyes, and some of the small tools needed to complete each project. You just need a copy of the book and a few other supplies (like a pot and measuring cup) to get started.

The Indigo + Shibori Dye Kit would be great for anyone planning a natural dyeing party as part of our first AVFKW Dye Day. The kit has enough indigo to create one indigo mother - which is enough to dye the three projects in the kit and more. (If you are planning an indigo party, read our suggestions for hosting one here.) The three projects include some of my favorites from MND - and I'm not just saying that because I love indigo.

One of the most accessible indigo dyeing projects is the Waves Bandana. Start with a simple cotton bandana (the kit includes two), apply some bound resist with strong thread (which also serves to make your fabric smaller and thus easier to dye in a small vat), dip a few times in your vat, and unwrap! 

The amount of patterning and color is up to you - you can play with the placement of your binding to create bandanas that vary in color and texture. Too much white space left after you unwrap it? Grab some thread and bind it again, then dip to add more color.

The second project in the kit is the Fishbone Dress. The kit includes fabric and a printed copy of our Tendril Dress pattern (remember, to create the dress in the book you will need to have your dress sewn and scoured before you can apply the stitch resist), but you could easily apply this technique to dresses or shirts already in your closet. 

The Modern Natural Dyer will teach you how to use several sets of needles and thread to create a stitch resist across the top of the dress. Just like with the Waves Bandana, this greatly decreases the volume of fabric going into your indigo vat, and makes it easier to handle. After you've reached your desired shade in the indigo vat (remember, it will be lighter after washing and drying), undo your stitching to reveal the white underneath. The tighter you can tug your threads, the stronger your resist will be!

The last project in the book is the Snapshot Quilt. The quilt pattern is simple and forgiving, easy for a beginning quilter and relaxing for an experienced one. The variety in the dyeing is what creates the effect of the finished quilt. 

You will start with several pieces of a cotton/linen blend (remember to follow the directions in MND to pre-cut your backing piece, binding pieces, and the seven squares for the quilt front), a set of square blocks, and C-clamps (the C-clamps are not included in the kit but can be purchases at any hardware store). Depending on how you fold the fabric, and then how you apply the block and clamp, results in many different patterns after you dye them in the indigo vat. You can follow the folding and clamping patterns in MND or try some of your own!

After all your pieces of fabric are dyed, you can stack and cut them into smaller squares, then arrange as you like to create the quilt top. Dye the fabric for the back of your quilt and the binding a solid blue, then stitch it all together with embroidery floss that you can also dye.

We think this kit is perfect to get you started on your AVFKW Dye Day! We are still offering 15% off natural dyes, kits, The Modern Natural Dyer, and more - enter AVFKWDyeDay at checkout to receive your discount.

Tomorrow, on Wednesday August 15th at 12 pm Pacific, Kristine is hosting an Instagram Live session to answer any questions you have about hosting your AVFKW Dye Day! Our Instagram account is @avfkw, hope you can join us!

Use the hashtag #AVFKWDyeDay on your IG photos on August 25th to see people around the country hosting their own dye party! We also have a brand new hashtag for IG photos of in process and finished objects using materials you have purchased at AVFKW. Tag your photos with #Verbalong, and be eligible to win a gift in our monthly drawing!

Do you need help selecting the appropriate scours, mordants, and dyes? Give us a call at 510-595-8372 or email info (at) averbforkeepingwarm (dot) com and we'll help you out.