Posts Tagged ‘dyeing with indigo’


February 11, 2016

Is the color deep enough? The photo and sunlight actually make it difficult to tell. Indigo can also be reflective.

Pashmina - wool - was once a mushroom color.

Pashmina – wool – once a mushroom color.

It is a deep indigo and since the excess dyes have finally been washed out, I’m happy to say that this particular dye job is complete. The temps have continued to drop, so even in the sun, the cold and breeze have been biting.

from Sanada Maru

from Sanada Maru

Sanada Maru is the new Taiga Drama (NHK) this year. I usually wait until March to view the subtitled version, but I’ve begun watching the “untitled” one to get an earlier start. I’ve been delighted to find that most of the costuming is in shibori (bring it on, NHK!).

3 Sanada siblings

3 Sanada siblings

It’s a feast for the eyes. Each character seems to have their own signature color and pattern, but not always. It’ll be fun to keep up with this, if only for the costuming.


After unbinding only a few of the bound motifs, the manipulated cloth is still tight.

There is also an expectation to be fulfilled. I promised to dye and unbind a silk handkerchief given to me some time ago. It has finally been dyed and this week I began with slowly working with the threads to unbind it. I am in no hurry.  It is a lesson just in seeing how the threads connect each shibori bound shape with the other and how they are “tied” off with a loop.

tightly bound shapes

tightly bound shapes

If the proper thread or thread end can be found, it simply pulls or unwraps one row at a time. It’s a gem of a process, so why hurry this?

in a blink

March 12, 2015

In a blink of an eye it feels like spring has arrived. Daffodils are in bloom and my bluebells won’t be far behind. The warm temperatures and sun have made it possible to complete a dye job that has lingered since last month.

enjoying their shape & color

enjoying their shape & color

Daphne survived the ice and cold temps.

Daphne survived the ice and cold temps.

I enjoy each one that comes along, but it seems there was more variation in the fibers in this particular order. There was a tunic in an airy silk/cotton blend, another feather light silk tunic (with ruffles and ties), and a soft rayon top. They took the dye beautifully and had no trouble achieving the depth of blue that was requested. There were more and they were just as delicious.

silk tunic

silk tunic

Each piece had an unexpected richness, it seems. It simply continues to reaffirm the wonder of the dye, its color and the challenges it presents.

over dyed embroidery on a cotton blouse

over dyed embroidery on a cotton blouse

It was a pleasure to finally mail the box of goods off to my customer this morning. I suppose it marks the end of winter work. Now, on to spring. It calls.

There are workshops afoot, continued planning and preparation for the upcoming seasons. There is much to look forward to. I find though, that those spaces between events are equally important – one needs time for stillness, quiet, making it possible for exploration, invention…or maybe just dipping.


November 13, 2014

One thought with me all week long is simply that the cold is coming. That’s meant “Hurry up and get your dyeing done!” So that was my focus.  As it happens, my class had a week off due to Veteran’s Day, so it has felt like there was more time for other things (as well).

There has been a “project” in the works – more in my mind than the actual doing. I realized that time and temps were slipping away and that this was the week.

Some of these will go to West Jefferson. Others will be in my Etsy shop.

Then there’s been class prep – I’m working on it – enjoying working alongside my students (in spirit), on samples and experiments that my “lessons” seem to conjure up. There’s always a different element or aspect I haven’t considered.


Revisiting Red White & Blue

November 13, 2012

2010 Red White & Blue 3

Originally uploaded by SOFennell

In the summer of 2010 I dyed a small series of scarves on the theme of red, white and blue. It was just before the 4th of July and wanted to do something to commemorate the upcoming day. While I used the colors, I didn’t quite reach that blue needed to make that statement. I did use indigo. In the process of dipping and dyeing, I stopped short of the goal – on purpose.

I liked what was happening with the colors, loved the green that resulted and decided not to push it. I’m not sure my original idea would have read as clearly (a bold red, white & blue) after seeing the unbound results. In the end, it really doesn’t matter as I’ve enjoyed them for what they are. I’ve felt no hurry to display or sell them. In fact, I was hoping to build on the theme and time has simply slipped by and there have been other “distractions.”

Last week, I was going through some of my pieces and was considering them again. They’ve been good inspiration, but think it’s time to set a couple of them free. So eventually, after I complete some final processes will put them in my Etsy shop. I plan to hold on to a couple and hope that they’ll continue to motivate and inspire in the coming seasons.

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