Dy(e)ing All Over The Place – Part 2

Examples to inspire us.

Throughout the entire dyeing workshop, Rachel had examples of textiles that she had dyed on display so that we might see some of the wide range of effects that are possible by using different mordants and different fibres. Those shown above were dyed with Indigo, as per the label. I was surprised at how light the colours were – proof of my considerable ignorance about dyes and dyeing.

Various shades obtained using a Madder dye pot.

It is possible to see several shades in the fibres dyed with Madder.

Onion skins have been used to dye these.
A mordant is not needed when dyeing with Turmeric.

Hapa-Zome Technique

An example of the Hapa-Zome technique by Rachel.

Rachel explained the Japanese technique of Hapa-Zome to us. Dampen your fabric [but do not make it too wet] and lay it on a waterproof surface. Sprinkle petals across the fabric. Either fold the fabric in half, or place a sheet of cartridge paper or handmade paper on top of it. Tap gently across the entire fabric or paper surface with a small hammer, rolling pin or similar instrument. Leave to dry. Some petals will adhere to the fabric or paper, some will fall off. Decorate or embellish as you wish. This technique proved very popular so it was frequently rather noisy in the room!

This was my first attempt at Hapa-Zome.
I used a piece of silk georgette, folded in half and am quite pleased with the result.

On Saturday evening, some of the students experimented with the Hapa-Zome technique. This photograph shows the result of using red pepper and green pepper, amongst other things. 
Dyeing with Non-Indigenous Dyes


On Sunday morning we began dyeing using non-indigenous dyes. The three dyes on offer were Indigo, Cochineal and Madder. Rachel showed us how to prepare our dye pots and told us that the pots we use should not be made of aluminium, which reacts with the dyes. First she prepared some Madder by making it into a paste and adding it to lukewarm water. It was brought to the boil and simmered for 20 minutes to bring out the colour.
Indigo is not soluble in water and it does not like oxygen. It is prepared by shaking it in a jar [with the lid on!] with some lukewarm water [more than is needed to make a paste], then adding it to a lidded stainless steel pot containing more lukewarm water. Do not boil but simmer for 5 – 10 minutes.
Cochineal must be made into a sort of bouquet garni to prevent it ‘spotting’ on the fibres to be dyed. It releases its colour instantly. Bring the pot of water containing the Cochineal to the boil and simmer for an hour. Items need to be left in as long as possible to achieve intensity of colour.
Denise and I had been working together and decided to use a mixture of Cochineal and Madder in our dye pot, both of which we made into bouquets garni. This dye pot contains our dye mixture with some silk satin, cotton lawn, cartridge paper and woollen yarn.

I will reveal some of the results of our labours in my next post, together with more photographs of the workshop.


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