October 23, 2013

Teaching Indigo Blue and Shibori Dyeing

During the summer, I posted information and pictures about the Indigo blue and Shibori dyeing course Coral Jewell and I took at the Haliburton School of the Arts. We loved the process so much, we decided to try our hand at teaching the course ourselves. We had a modest class of two which was ideal for working out the kinks and for getting some feedback on how to do it better. We have decided that we definitely need to do this outside so the plan is to have further classes in the late spring, summer or early fall.

One of the things we discussed was doing some prior shopping at clothing recycling stores like the Value Villages in Toronto for blouses or sweaters you may want to stitch and dye. Judy, one of our students, found a lovely white blouse which she stitched ahead for our second class.

Here is Judy's final result - a lovely, one-of-a-kind blouse!

Judy also tried a thick, large knit weave sweater but we discovered that the dye soaked right through the stitches and gave only an overall colour. It is all part of the learning experience.

We did some more pole wrapping and dyeing. Here you can clearly see the initial colour of the green dye bath and just a few minutes later see the green beginning to oxidize to blue.It's an exciting process to see.

One of the techniques I hadn't tried during the course was clamping. You need a lot of clamps to keep the dye out for best effect and the clamps were in high demand but, fortunately, Coral had a lot of them. Here is one of my efforts.

Coral and I have decided that when we teach the course again, we will make sure everyone gets to dye on the first day using some of the techniques except for the sewing techniques. The first class will end with a demonstration of different stitching patterns which will be assigned as homework in preparation of the next class. Here is a new stitching pattern I tried and its final result.

Both Coral and I have determined to make sampler quilts that show some of the different techniques used in Indigo Blue and Shibori dyeing. We are looking forward to further teaching experiences in this exciting process.

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