123 – Indigo Dye – Fold and Print was a great week end ! Now I am feeling BLUE !

My next week end Indigo Shibori is in Glasgow in September … I would love if you wanted to join… Detail and booking

When I was a child at some point I ended up with this Tie Dye tee shirt… I remember taking some elastic bands and tying them on a tee shirt around some marbles and after my mother had taken the tee shirt out of the washing machine the pattern appeared by some kind of magic… it was the 70’s and Dylon dyes was mostly responsible for the explosion of colour around me… The Tie Dye explosion below a typical tee shirt of my youth 🙂 (source Wikipedia)

But 10 years ago I started travelling to Asia, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodgia and I got bitten by the Indigo bug… Dark Blue large vats full of dirty water producing the magical colours for the ethnic clothes around me… total bliss… and off course being a stenciller by trade I had to go investigate the Japanese tradition of the Tsutsugaki where you stencil a paste through a stencil as a resist… before dyeing your cloth in Indigo producing the most magical patterns. So this is where my love for Indigo Shibori starts really…

Wherever I go I always seem to find blue stuff ! usually unusual and dark blue … I like reading it and decrypting its making process … folded, clamped, brushed on, dipped… with time I have learned to be able to work out how to print and dye those patterns… and I wanted to share this !

Quite a few time I have witnessed “Shibori” a la European ! A group of middle aged ladies bunching down a piece of silk cloth around a large pipe to give it a great stripy pattern… there is more than this to Shibori! Intricate folds and clever tying ! Knowledge of the vat maintenance ! Understanding of the speed of the dye !!! And beautiful pieces come out !

So I set up my own course! A week end of dyeing blue stuff ! Last week end ! At the House for an Art Lover ! A great big space two indigo vats! Huge rinsing buckets ! Two clothes horses ! A box of tricks (pegs, ties, elastic bands … ) and many chocolate biscuits !

When you have a mixed audience you have to stay simple so everyone learns and get a result … while offering most advance pupils the opportunity to push their boundaries ! Di, one of my pupils for the day, was very focussed on remaking two items of clothing as well as working on her samples …Martha, the young girl worked on a tote bag ! But all were at the end of the day in complete awe with their results … as well as learning traditional patterns, we had some free time for play and that work was by far the best !

We used pre reduced Indigo ! I have found my organic Vat does not like travelling specially when there is no time to rebalance it’s Ph ! Pre reduced is perfect for teaching … it’s easy to manage and gives a good level of blue!

We ran a “Bring and Dye” session … this is a number of events I run in connexion with the Fashion Revolution ! Remaking your clothes gives you a chance to understand the process of producing garments and the importance to look after them instead of the fast turn around of cheap garments …

But before that … we learned some traditional folds … in the Japanese way ! And we even practised with home made stencils and rice paste … with great success …

it was a enjoyable week end ! I learn so much from participants and their question ! Every week end course sends me home with questions I need to investigate ! So I am now working on some unanswered questions to prepare my next week end… in September in my own studio this time… it will give me a chance to let folks try Organic Indigo and I can’t wait… for detail and booking …Indigo/Shibori

I hope to see you there.

Love Betty

Xx

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