Monday, 26 March 2012


Well here is the result of my Indigo dyeing yesterday.  As you can see it is a lovely blue but there are a lot more unplanned marks.  This could be for a number of reasons.  1.  I didn't do enough stitching to create a more orderly pattern.  2.  I was being a bit ambitious using a very large piece of fabric in the size of the vat I had prepared.  3.  I should have re-washed the piece of linen in synthrapol maybe,  I did give it a good soak before I put it in the vat after it had been stitched. 4.  Perhaps I should have just left it to oxidise on its own and not fiddle with it. 
What does anyone think?  All suggestions gratefully received!  Sometimes when I have been dyeing smaller pieces of fabric they have had the odd random blotch when oxidised.  Perhaps this has something to do with the mixture.  Or my own feeling is that it is something within the fabric that is almost acting as a resist. 
I am feeling a little ungrateful that I am a wee bit disappointed in the results.  Does this seem mad, I wonder.  I have been the instrument in this exercise so it is down to me.  I have been thinking about dyeing yardage to make garments for a long time now and have always had at the back of my mind that I wouldn't be able to do it with the equipment I have.  When I have prepared a larger vat before it has been so heavy I haven't been able to move it when I have needed to empty it.  Perhaps I will go to Plan B and cut out the garment before I dye it.  I will use this piece of fabric, but I may have to wear it myself!  Indigo dyeing is an interesting experience and the results can never be repeated because there are so many things that we can't control such as hardness or softness of the water, the humidity in the air, the temperature outside, how much air gets into the vat and the make-up of the fabric.  This unpredictability makes it addictive, and for someone who is unpredictable and spontaneous this makes me a convert to the cause.  Why then does it slightly annoy me when it does its own thing and not what I would like it to do?  Food for thought!
I will post pictures of the finished garment.

Sunday, 25 March 2012


It has been a lovely warm and sunny day today and that makes for an ideal time to mix up the first Indigo vat of 2012.   I am taking part in Dorset Art Weeks again and this starts on the last week-end in May.  The days are going with great speed and I haven't really started anything yet.  The sunshine today gave me the impetus to start.  While the vat was fermenting I sat in the sun and stitched a grid on a long piece of lovely white French linen.  I have no idea how it will turn out as I think my vat was a bit small for such a large piece.  One thing is sure it will be a lovely blue.  I intend to  make a  loose fitting jacket with it so it will be cut up and then re-arranged so the result could be interesting.  It is in the washing machine at the moment.  I will post more pictures of the fabric before I start to cut it up.  Now that I have started, I hope to carry on!!!  There is lots to be done.  I am exhibiting with 5 other ladies under the name of Allsorts Textile Artists.  We have the use of a lovely big barn at Highway Farm on the outskirts of Bridport.  Details of Dorset Art Weeks can be found on the Dorset Visual Arts website. 
I have given myself an awful lot to do this year.  As well as working towards Art Weeks there are the things I want to do for the Contemporary Quilt Group and I still have to fit in time to go off on my travels to France and various Textile Fairs.  On April 4th I will be at Ilminster Talent for Textiles Fair at the Arts Centre.  This is a lovely day in super surroundings.
Hot on the heels of Ilminster is Ardingly and then we are off to France to take a stand at another Puces de Couturiers.  This time at St. Lo.  Oh well there is no chance of me getting bored!  Exhausted yes.  What do they say about 'All work and no play.....'?