Looks like a heist from the florist or botanic garden, doesn't it?
It was a group effort of the very best kind and was transformed into
our first dye day of the summer and it was a BIG one for our merry band who were
practically chomping on their tongs with anticipation ... three separate baths were on hand,
each with the promise of good, strong color:
Trying to be somewhat disciplined with our exuberance, we gathered into a circle to get some working
facts about what was in store. I spoke a bit about lac
and then Sheila taught us about the blues. Indigo was simpler than I'd imagined,
especially from the kit we used,
and seems to have everything to do with air ~ in the vat and out of it.
Was my first time out of the chutes [so to speak] with this color and already
I can see how people become addicted.
If only I'd made videos while watching everyones color transformations happening
including my own ...
I was astonished!
No wonder everyone calls it
Just showing a couple of my shibori snippets at the moment [more to come later],
since most the gals read my blog and I don't want to give away all of what I did quite yet ...
saving that for our in-person "reveal" get-together in August.
But I digress ...
Yours truly was the instigator of the lac pot. Red from bugs - the bugs that provide shellac.
Similar to cochineal, yet different insectivorous origins and with deeper tones - closer to
burgundy wine or the juice of roasted beets.
I thought after all this time of using local materials as our primary color source
it might be fun to try something DRAMATIC, from farther afield.
But I confess ... while processing the powder I felt an odd disconnect [for lack of a better word].
My rational mind knew this was a "natural" dye,
yet there was something so unnatural about using this color that came from
Still, there's no denying my appreciation for these patterns and imprints
[thanks to alum mordant on the cottons & linens] ... and I can see
my purple pansies here [blue from the alum] and the skins from the local grocery.
It was mentioned recently that someone remarked
that all naturally dyed fabric "looks the same."
I think I must beg to differ with that comment.
The dregs of the lac bath came home with me and the following day I continued on with
a few more experiments. The bath looked strong in the pot, but in actuality it was quite exhausted
and had swung to a decidedly plummy range of tones ...
all that iron in our bundles definitely changed the pH.
Can't say I mind it.
: : :
If you're a mite skittish about processing the extract yourself,
Aurora Silks has a [much more expensive] ready-to-go powder from China
We used a Pre-Reduced Indigo Kit from Pro-Chem