Last week my sister Woman of the Cloth Carol came round for a day of indigo dyeing.
I’ve not run indigo shibori workshops at my house because the thought of having several people traipsing between my kitchen (where the water supply is) and the garden (where the indigo vat is) with dripping blue bundles is a bit alarming, even though my house is not exactly up to show home standard – as you will see from the photos!
Also, indigo dyeing is slow – you need to dip several times to build up colour and make it fast, and the fabric has to oxidise well between dips. And although there are some shibori techniques that are relatively quick, stitching and binding resists are time consuming. So it’s not for people who want to produce something in a couple of hours.
However, Carol is a very competent stitcher (she runs embroidery workshops), and, despite her being a decorator, I knew she wouldn’t be judgemental about the state of my house. 😉
She turned up with a beautiful bundle of table mats and napkins, many of them with lovely crocheted or cutwork edging. Some of these we just dyed without any resists.
A couple of the larger pieces we rolled and tied with string.
For the stitching techniques we used mokume (woodgrain), karamatsu (Japanese larch) and maki-age (stitch combined with binding).
We managed to dip each piece three times, but as I generally prefer to let the fabric oxidise overnight before unpicking, Carol took some of the pieces home and undid them and washed them through the next day.
As you can see, the stitch patterns are very strong and distinct – good stitching technique Carol! 🙂