Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Dyeing with Indigo

This past week I tried indigo dyeing for the first time (and then had to dye more on the weekend to show the rest of my family how fascinating it is).
I used a dye kit from Maiwa, that I had bought a while ago at a local fibre fest (they no longer seem to sell the one I have on the website, it contains lye instead of calcium hydroxide). I followed the instructions included in the kit (and available on the Maiwa website - link for the instruction pdf sheet).

I dyed some white and natural cotton fabric, as well as some natural commercial linen/cotton yarn and handspun wool yarn. The indigo vat is green in colour when starting to dye (there is a whole chemical process that I don't fully understand).

The fabric (or yarn) first comes out of the vat bright green,
 and as it touches the air it slowly turns blue
 After about 20 minutes it was fully blue.
I tied and dipped the large piece a few times.
This smaller piece was just scrunched and dipped once (for about 30 minutes).
The yarn was dipped a few times (each about 30 minutes with 30 minutes hanging time in between).
 These are the t-shirts my family dyed on the weekend.

I want to experiment more with indigo dyeing, I would like to try shibori next.

With the smaller piece of fabric (this was natural cotton, dipped once) I sewed a top.

I started with the Ashton Top pattern from Helen's Closet  that I made a couple of weeks ago and heavily modified it.
I made my first top following the size 8 pattern just to see how it fit because I knew that I wanted to experiment with the pattern. Although the pattern comes in various sizes and also a couple of cup sizes, the larger cup size didn't start until size 12, so I needed to modify the darts for myself. For this top I decided to also angle the darts down to remove some of the fabric at my waist and make the top look less like a maternity top on me - I am really happy with how this came out - thrilled that it worked!

"all mine"
I can't seem to put anything on the floor without Maggie coming to see what's happening, but in this photo you can see the dart better. I also opened up the neckline and moved the straps over for a better fit (I have wide shoulders). I made the hemline longer in the back and front, and high at the hips (this allowed the top to be longer and narrow, and still fit over my hips).

I modified the straps and back (I had seen a similar top online). I used bias binding for all the finishing, even the hem (made from coordinating Bali fabric).

I also sewed another Helen's Closet pattern - the Blackwood Cardigan (I sewed one last week too with my Mom, but forgot to take a picture before she went home). This cardigan is my favourite for the summer - I have made 7 so far! Four for myself and three for my Mother (most from remnants of fabric, and one from an old knit sheet no one liked). It has become very quick to sew.

Photos from around the farm-

Backyard full of Cowbirds
 A family of Grey Partridges in the flower bed,
 15 all together!
 A Datura that self seeded blooming
A Bee on a Sunflower (the plants are about 7' tall)
 A Monarch butterfly on a Blazing Star

All the best!♥︎


Sue SA said...

The initial blue dyed items are such a bright colour, I was wondering if the later items were dyed last and therefore had a softer more muted tone? I love the blue, but the bright green was appealing as well! Your garden looks lovely.

Jeanne said...

Wow -- the indigo dyeing looks like fun! I've read about it in the past, but your color-change photos really show the magic happening :)

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