I have been making a real effort to find fun and interesting ways to leave my house these days. I used to spend so much time with my man doing fun things together, so I want to be really careful that I don't end up becoming a hermit now that he's gone. I work at home alone all day, so it's really good for me to get out and about in the evenings and weekends with friends and fun activities.
When my pal Janelle asked me about taking the Blue Thread Indigo Dyeing class at French General, I jumped at the opportunity to spend the day dyeing things blue! Plus the class was taught my by friend Kaari, the owner of French General, and it's always fun to hang out with her too. When I got there (and if you've never been to French General, you should totally visit!) I was happy to see two other friends were signed up for the class too, Tootie & Billie, the owners of ReForm School. Already this was setting up to be a fun day!
Kaari explained to all of us what techniques we were going to be doing today and showed us beautiful and inspiring examples. If I even got close to these results I'd be stoked! (spoiler alert: I DID!!!) We were given a kit with a cotton tote bag, cotton square scarf, a cotton square napkin, a long narrow silk scarf, and instructions. After some tutorials, we were off and preparing to do our dyeing!
I used small wooden beads wrapped up in rubber bands on my tote bag, so I would hopefully get some small white rings randomly placed around the bag. Yes! It worked! You can see it in the top photo on the far right. I dipped it four times to get it that dark.
For the silk scarf (above on the left), I wanted something more delicate so I folded the scarf in half lengthwise, then wrapped rubber bands around the scarf in roughly 1" sections. The hard lines across the scarf were the rubber bands, and all the other coloring was just due to the squishing of the fibers. You really don't know what you're going to get when you do this! So most of these results were happy accidents!
For the cotton scarf, I accordion folded the fabric, then bound a wooden block on either side of it with twine. That too turned out amazing. You can see that the white of the scarf (above on the right) is just the un-dyed cotton, and the indigo clung to the areas outside of the wooden blocks. Amazing!!!
After dyeing these two items, I started to see what others were doing and knew that I wanted to do something with a circle repeat that I spotted on someone else's fabric. Kaari had other pieces of fabrics for sale for dyeing, so I bought a lovely 1 yard cut of soft cotton & silk blend (above on the right). I folded it in accordion folds, then clamped a small wooden circle to either side of the fabric bundle. It turned out gorgeous and is probably my favorite piece of the day. I plan to just hem the edges to wear this as a scarf. I love it!
For the cotton napkin (above in the middle) I tried another technique where you use thread to get a resist. It didn't really work, but that's okay. It's all an experiment and the fact that so many actually turned out as I had planned was rather shocking!
As Kaari warned us at the start of class, this is addictive and before you know it you will be dyeing everything! I honestly didn't think that'd be true, but now I for sure want to try this again on my own. It would make amazing gifts for holidays and birthdays.
Have you all ever done this before? If so, what are your favorite ways to bundle and tie the fabric? I'd welcome suggestions for the next time I do it!