The Modern Natural Dyer Work-Along: Indigo Reveal

Posted by AVFKW Staff on June 15, 2016 3 Comments

The most-anticipated moment with shibori and indigo dyeing is the moment you remove the object creating your resist (binding, stitching, clamps, etc), and reveal the design underneath! With indigo dyeing this is especially fun, with the strong contrast between your dark blue and white underneath.

On Tuesday, Lis and I dipped our pieces in the indigo vat. The night before, I finished stitching the fishbone pattern onto my completed Tendril Tank (above), and Lis's fabric was stitched and pulled tight. We soaked our pieces in hot water to thoroughly wet them, so that the indigo could easily permeate the fabric. Then we re-calibrated the AVFKW indigo vat and started dyeing!

I dipped my piece a total of 5 times; Lis dipped her fabric 3 times. It was a beautiful day in Oakland, with a bright, warm sun. We alternated dips between our two pieces to allow them to fully oxidize.

After our dipping was completed, we gave each piece a quick rinse, then carefully began cutting our knots and removing each thread. 

Lis's fabric turned out beautiful! Since part of it is solid blue, this means only part of her tank will have her stitch pattern, the rest will be solid blue. And since the Tendril is cut on the bias, her stitching pattern will also be on the bias. 

My Tendril Tank is complete, and I love it! Since I used a cotton fabric that is a little heavier than the linen in the Fishbone Dress project, the gathering of the fabric between the stitching lines created an additional resist. I did my best to allow as much dye as possible into this area, but I love the additional patterning that it created.

I'm looking forward to seeing what YOU create with indigo this month! Please feel free to leave us a comment with a link to photos of your work, or use the hashtag #themodernnaturaldyerworkalong on Instagram.

Indigo tips:

+ Make sure the dye reaches all parts of your fabric - i.e. in between the rows of stitching on your Fishbone Dress. 
+ Make sure to allow the indigo on your fabric to fully oxidize in between dips. It can be helpful to dye multiple pieces, one after another, to space out the dips. Grab a friend to join you!
+ Just like with other dyes, your fabric will be several shades lighter after drying, so be sure to keep that in mind as you dip your fabric.
+ Watch Kristine's Creativebug video on dyeing with indigo to learn more.
+ Embrace the variation and natural beauty of your dyed piece!

-- Sarah

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