Monday, February 6, 2012

S.I.X Play Day

Today was to be our unveiling of our challenges. I have taken photos of the ones finished but decided not to publish them until they are all finished. In the end I didn't get my own finished in time, but now I have another idea for the original and headline fabric.
Instead, we had a play day where we tried some dyeing with indigo.
I bought some 'balls' of compressed indigo in Dubai a few years ago and just recently had watched a DVD about dyeing using natural sustainable methods - right up my alley - it's no fun using dyes, mordants and additives where you have to wear a mask, and surely it can't be good for the environment!
Unfortunately the recipe called for crushed burnt oyster shell. I didn't know how to manage that and wondered if hydrated lime would be OK.
Here's the dye pot:
well that colour didn't quite look right (it's supposed to be greeny yellow)!
So Dianne and Rhonda got busy crushing some oyster shells (precious sweat on a warm day):
This is the resultant dye bath (looking much better):
While we waited for the dye bath to hydrate and react we were busy preparing our fabric:
over-dyeing with folding and 'tying'

shibori over a plastic pipe
shibori over a bottle
selection of folded, tied and stitched for shibori

first dye bath
fabric from the first dye bath - 5 minutes saturation, now oxidising
Rhonda's over-dyed folded piece
one of Dianne's shibori pieces
As I used my stockpot, we figured that the opening was too wide and probably allowed too much oxidation to occur. The second dye-bath was not very successful and apparently if oxidation has occurred there can be a 90% loss of dye, but I have left some fabric in it and will re-add the dyed pieces in a couple of days.
Otherwise, I will visiting the local Indian grocery to see if I can purchase a narrow, tall, stainless steel pot!
I will also have to figure out a way of crushing the oyster shell. I'm thinking that baking it first (at what temp. I have no idea!) will help to make it more brittle and easier to crush.
I admit that I was little disappointed with the results from the dyeing, but it's all about learning and we all had a great day together!

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