This is my indigo dye bucket bubbling away ready for dyeing cloth. The bubbles on the top are called the plume and it carried the extra indigo dye that has not yet been released into the water. You remove most of the plume everytime you do a batch of cloth and add it back to the bucket when you are done.
Here we are ready to go. Holly, Louise, Karen, Mimi & Nan.
We wrapped wet fabric around pvc pipe or crunched it into balls or folded and clamped it. Here's Karen dipping some cotton wrapping around a 2" pipe. The water underneath the plume is green and the fabric will look green when you first take it out of the water but it will turn blue when exposed to oxygen in the air.
Here's a closer look.
This fat-quarter of white PFD was wet and scrunched into a ball and dunked in the vat. You can see where the top is just starting to turn blue as it hits the air.
You can see the cloth in the basket by Holly's feet. It included cotton PFD (prepared for dye), old white table clothes ready for a blue adventure, and pieces of wedding dresses that were left over from a quilt that Karen Eckmeier did for a Breast Cancer Awareness raffle. We didn't dye it all but we had quite a few pieced when we broke for lunch.
We left them in the sun to dry and do their blue magic while we had a bite.
Onion and spinach quiche, tabouli, red pepper humus, salad, mushroom brie, fruit salad, roasted garlic baguette and a delicious holiday bread from Bantam bread. YUM!
When lunch was over it was time to unwrap! Nan, Mimi and Karen got to it!
Here are some of them drying on the lawn.
Blue hands and happy faces. We had a grand time. We are holding a piece of cloth that will be a scarf for Nan as she heads off to Argentina in a few weeks. The fabric is soft and silky - even prettier in person!
My haiku for the day:
Dipping cloth into history.
Indigo is among the oldest natural dyes (extracted from plants) to be used for textiles and India is believed to be the oldest center of indigo dyeing in the Old World. Blue dye is mentioned on a cuneiform tablet from Mesopotamia in the 7th century BC. Although associated with "blue" jeans, for me indigo is always tied (pardon the pun) to the Japanese art of Shabori. Shabori cloth is crunched, folded, tied (as in tie-dye) to form patterns on the cloth. Read more about indigo here: Indigo and more about Shibori here.