Posts

Showing posts from October, 2012

Shibori Dyeing with Walnut and Indigo

Image
Silk chiffon, first dyed with indigo, 
then shibori-dyed using walnut
It's not easy, at least in my view. The colors of natural dyes are far more subtle and the behavior of natural dyes is far more quixotic than with man-made dyes. With acid dyes, what you want to achieve and what you achieve can be one and the same, or very close. With natural dyes -- well, it depends and it depends.

How much dye do you use? Which mordant and how much? How long do you let the fabric "cure"? Indigo, of course, has quite predictable colors -- but try creating shibori effects. Not so easy!

Even so, I insist on trying, because the colors are so gentle and the patterns so intriguing.

Quilting cotton, first dyed with cochineal,
then over-dyed with indigo, then tied and immersed in walnut,
then clamped and immersed in indigo
In addition to the challenge of achieving predictable results, I think it's the softness of the colors that distinguishes natural dyes from man-made dyes. It's an …