Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Indigo Blues

Karen and I have been dyeing with natural indigo for just over two years now. After many trials and tribulations, we have finally found a recipe and process that works for us and produces some lovely indigo fabrics which we have developed into quilt kits. We use a wide range of techniques to produce a variety of patterns and textures, using paste resist, traditional tying and shibori and clamping.

Applying paste in a hand drawn design

Applying paste with original batik wood blocks

Stitch resist, takes a lot of time and patients but produces lovely results, unfortunately I can't find the picture of this piece when it has been dyed. This picture does show you the stitching with the diagram.

A closer view of the stitches, the order and direction of the stitching is important to allow the fabric to be drawn up to create the resist.

This is a picture of 'the flower' that forms on the top of a healthy vat. This is our favourite vat and contains about 200 liters of indigo. The flower is removed before dyeing and the reduced indigo below is the colour of a good English larger.

Here you can see our very complex dipping devices! 
The first shows fabric clamped between squares, only the edges are exposed to the dye giving a bold chequered finish. If you look closely at the second picture, you can just make out the hand drawn pattern beneath the dye.


And here are two quilts that have been completed at Main Creek Retreats, using our range of hand dyed indigo cottons

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