Indigo is a magical substance. This is something I have known since the early nineties when I attended my first natural dye workshop, but which I need to rediscover every few years
This spring as I sat down to plan for Art in the Garden, I pulled out a diverse assortment of weaving, knitting and surface design projects that have been languishing about the house for a while because none of them were quite…finished, or maybe they were just generally uninspired. They were all just “missing something.” So I dragged out a big plastic bucket that once held pool chemicals, set up an indigo vat, and started dipping: a pile of silk scarves and shawls, a couple of hand made totes, about a pound of some Persian style tapestry yard that for some reason I had dyed a very bright yellow several years ago. I’m not sure why. You practically need sunglasses to look at it.
I also grabbed my button jar and a box of rubber bands and performed a bit of “button shibori” on most of the scarves and shawls.
I probably should have spent a bit of time figuring out the dry weight of the material, as well as precisely timing the dips and the oxidation intervals, but my inner child (a notoriously stubborn and undisciplined little brat) took over. I dipped whatever I could lay hands on and dripped all over the garage floor until I I finally exhausted the vat.
Hmmmm…That was fun—I think I need more indigo…