Last weekend I ran a workshop on indigo shibori dyeing for the London branch of the International Feltmakers Association, of which I am a member. I’ve attended previous IFA workshops on felting and natural dyeing, and the participants are always enthusiastic and engaged, so I knew I was in good hands!
I wanted participants to experience the difference between synthetic and natural indigo, so we began on Saturday by setting up three vats. The first was what is known as a 123 vat, popularised by natural dye guru Michel Garcia – this was made up of 1 part indigo, 2 parts lime and 3 parts fructose. The other two vats were made of synthetic indigo in different concentrations.
To start with we focused on clamping and binding shibori techniques, and soon everyone was having fun with pegs, marbles and lolly sticks, while the more adventurous grappled with some plastic pipes and string to produce arashi shibori.
In the afternoon we moved on to stitching. Because this is more time consuming, it meant that keen students could take their pieces home to finish stitching in the evening so it was ready to dye the next day.
There was time at the end of the afternoon to undo the first bound and clamped pieces and the makeshift washing line outside soon began to fill up!
On Sunday the we continued to experiment with different techniques (sometimes combining more than one) or fabrics, learning how the same technique can look very different on different fabrics.
We also found a more photogenic place to hang our work. 😉
At the end of the day everyone had a good collection of samples to take home and seemed very happy!
I thought I’d already posted about these events but it was actually on my website and newsletter, so sorry about the short notice!
Next week I’m running a couple of workshops for beginners on felting and ecoprinting. The venue is The Old School, School Lane, West Kingsdown, Sevenoaks, Kent TN15 6JN, just off the M20. For more information and to book, please contact Judith Yarnold, firstname.lastname@example.org, 01474 852669.
Tuesday 21 August, 10am-4pm
Felt is one of the oldest known fabrics in the world. It’s made by wetting layers of wool roving and rubbing and rolling with soap until the fibres interlock to form a robust fabric. This one-day workshop introduces you to the basic felting technique.
In the morning you will start by making a flat piece of felt to learn the basic technique. You can decorate it with yarn, silk and other embellishments.
In the afternoon you will make a 3D object (a small bowl) by felting around a resist. Again, you can decorate this in various ways.
We provide: All materials, but please bring an old towel and a plastic bag to take your work home with you
Numbers: Min 5, max 10 in class
Cost: £60 to be paid up front + £6 for materials to be paid in cash to the tutor on the day
When: Tuesday 21 August, 10am-4pm. There will be an hour’s break for lunch. There is a small shop that sells food about 5 minutes’ drive from the venue or you can bring your own.
Wednesday 22 August 2018
Ecoprinting is also known as botanical contact printing or bundling. It involves making a bundle of leaves in fabric and steaming or simmering in water or dye. In these conditions, certain plants leave their imprint on the fabric.
We will be working with silk in this workshop, as it is one of the easiest fabrics to use with this technique. In the morning we will go on a foraging walk to look for leaves and other foliage to use for ecoprinting. Then we will come back and make a couple of small samples using iron as a mordant. They will steam or simmer during our lunch break.
In the afternoon we will unbundle the samples to see the results and then lay out a larger piece (a silk scarf). While this is steaming we will experiment with hapazome (flower pounding), another method of using plants to make marks on fabric.
We provide: All materials, but please wear old clothes and bring an apron
Numbers: Min 5, max 10 in class
Cost: £60 to be paid up front + £15 for materials to be paid in cash to the tutor on the day
When: Wednesday 22 August, 10am-4pm. There will be an hour’s break for lunch. There is a small shop that sells food about 5 minutes’ drive from the venue or you can bring your own.
American Museum Textiles Fair
Claverton Manor, Bath BA2 7BD
Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 August, 10am-4pm
Spend the weekend browsing antique, vintage and world textiles as well as yarns, and makers’ suppliers at the ‘home of quilts’ in the South West. I will be bringing my latest batch of upcycled indigo shibori and ecoprinted garments and accessories.