Indigo is MAGIC! I am so inspired by my first experiments with indigo on cloth, I cannot wait to order more towels, weave scarves, source silk, maybe even cotton yardage for pillows, etc... and bind it all up for the indigo vat. STAT!
Shibori is a Japanese resist dyeing technique that encompases several ways of binding fabric before dipping into the indigo. I tried a few known techniques and made up a few more as I went along.
This first towel is my very favorite of the bunch. It's one where I folded and tied and clamped totally randomly... and it came out looking like a backlit woman in a strappy dress. I can also see it as an eclipsed moon above a fence with birds on it. I just love it. This completely unintentional and intriguing design is the one that inspires me most to experiment again. The next time I dip tea towels, I will see what happens when I try to make some scenes on purpose.
Less impressed with this wild card, but not discouraged. I bound the towel around a wire hanger here. Next time I will be careful to leave more towel exposed to the dye, or else bind less tightly.
"Kumo" is a shibori technique that often involves wrapping and binding the fabric (sometimes around found objects, which really appeals to me!). This towel was wrapped and bound around handfuls of acorns that my youngest daughter collected. She loves it! I love the flowery burst pattern, but not so much the stains from the acorns, so next time I will try using stones, or marbles maybe?
The technique called "arashi" involves wrapping the cloth on the diagonal around a pole, and binding tightly. Mine ended up only dyeing the outer section of the cloth, which was a surprise! Next time, I'll try for a complete arashi, though this technique would be handy if I wanted to eco-print or screen print something on the blank space.
"Itajime" is folded cloth, sandwiched between a press (wood or acrylic) and bound. Here, the cloth was first folded acoridian-style. I like this pattern for it's simiplicity and regular irregularity. I'd like to have some pillows with this print...
Lastly, another wild card. This towel was acordian-folded, then bound up with rubberbands, here and there.
More to come on this, for sure! I'll continue to experiment and hope to offer some of them in my shop, eventually. The tea towels I'm using are organic cotton, grown and milled in the USA.
P.S. I posted about the process some on Instagram, too. If you hang out there, find me and say hi!
I used Michel Garcia's easy 1-2-3 organic fructose vat, as explained by natural dye expert Kathy Hattori over at Botanical Colors. My organic indigo powder comes from Botanical Colors, too. (Working on sourcing some locally grown Texas indigo, too. It'd be fun to experiment with the fresh plant!)