Monday, May 5, 2014

Flower power

Here's why you're supposed to skim the so-called flower off the top of the indigo dye vat before you start dyeing:

If the undissolved bits of floating indigo get onto your fabric, they act as a resist.  The effect is actually quite beautiful in its way, but I wanted solid blues!

The flower might not be solely to blame, because some of the mottling probably resulted from the fabric being scrunched up in the dye bath, which also causes variations in exposure to the dye.  In addition, I ended up with some darker blotches on my supposed solids, as in the spots in the photo in the lower left-hand corner.  I'm guessing that these are places where the dye was pooled when I aerated the fabric.  I didn't wring out the fabric very well or lay it flat, and I think the blotches are areas that got more exposure to reduced indigo.  Dyeing solid fabrics is much harder than I thought it would be--it's far less forgiving than the various shibori techniques.

Next time, I'm going to start with a piece of fabric floating at the top of the bath, in order to try and remove the flower while also deliberately getting the mottled effect.  The adventure continues!   

No comments:

Post a Comment