Thursday, June 19, 2008

Day 1 - Shibori Dyeing

This is the view off into the Bristol Hills where we did our dyeing. It was just a beautiful venue for doing this activity and we thank Beverly for hostessing us!

This was the barn where we did a lot of the dyeing. It was a very sunny day at first and many in the group had to be very careful not to get too much exposure.

Well, it looked like it would be a nice day but it was a bit cool and we lost the sun after lunch so the challenge was to keep the dye pots warm enough so the dyes would react.

There were about 10 of us dyeing altogether. Our process was to first set up the dye pots with the warmed water and the salt needed for immersion dyeing. We used good deep buckets because we were doing a lot of poles. Everyone came really well prepared with sewn, clamped, twisted and wrapped fabric. We set up 6 different colors originally using sun yellow, golden yellow, strong orange, black, green and a brown of sorts. We had about 2 tbsps of dye in about 3 1/2 gallons of water with 2 cups of salt added. The salt weight should approximate the weight of the fabric you are dyeing. We took turns putting in our fabrics into the different baths, cycling through all of us so we would all get a chance to have some in any of the baths. We agitated the fibers and stacked the poles one inside of another so maximize our space. We agitated the fibers for about fifteen minutes and then added about a cup of soda ash to each and then agitated again for another fifteen minutes so that the dye wouldn't sit on the bottom. Altogether the fabrics stayed in the baths for about an hour and fifteen minutes. Everyone was anxious to see what they had so we unwrapped at the end, after doing enough rinsing to get the soda ash out.

Another technique that people enjoyed was painting the fabric with plain old dyes (no soda ash). We then let those pieces dry and then wrapped and clamped them and then dunked them into the second set of dyes we had created -- darker colors this time. You get wonderful color underneath that is a bit subtle as not a lot of the soda ash gets to the colors and they are diluted a bit by the heavy water concentration in the regular immersion.

After we unwrapped the second bunch, we gave out some Synthrapol and told everyone to rinse, rinse, rinse and then wash with the hottest possible water with the Synthrapol in it. Several of the members had front loaders, so we cautioned them to use very, very little of the Synthrapol. Tomorrow we start again.

This is a lot of the ladies laboring over the dye pots. We had to agitate quite a bit for the first half hour of each "session" so that the dyes would not just move to the bottom and get lopsided dyeing. They were working hard.

This is just one of the pots where you can see we stacked the poles inside of one another to maximize the amount of fabric we could fit into the pot. I still think we didn't put enough fabric in as the results were pretty dark!

Donna was putting another piece of her painted fabrics out on the line to dry. All of these fabrics had been dye painted without any soda ash. Again, they were pretty concentrated dyes.

Anne is very proud of her beautiful piece where she used tried and true tie dye techniques.

Marcia accordion folded this one and used clothespins to clamp along the side. I think it was dyed in our navy blue bath.

This was done by just sewing a folded up piece of fabric together on the sewing machine. It was just a simple sewing a line in the shape of a square through all the layers.

This was a piece that had been dyed once that Jeanne overdyed by just schrunching together and putting some string around it radiating out from the center. I think it was one of our made up colors over a golden yellow.

This was one of the traditional pole wrapped pieces.

This piece was another by Marcia and it was accordion folded and then tied together. It looked even better in person. I think this was one of the manufactured blacks.
This was made by taking those small pebble like things you can get at the dollar store for putting in vases and wrapping cloth over it and securing with a rubber band.
This was wrapped on a thick piece of rope and then dyed. I like this one a lot!

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