Learning: Indigo Dyeing

I don't knit.  Or crochet.  So, I don't let myself go into yarn stores too often...or I might start a new bad habit.  Recently, however, a new yarn store called A Verb for Keeping Warm opened and they figured out a way to drag me in.  Back behind all the gorgeous yarn and wonderful spinning wheels, is a section filled with a beautifully curated collection of quilting cottons.  And, wouldn't you know, I go in for the fabric...and come out contemplating taking a weaving class

A couple of weeks ago, to celebrate their one year store anniversary, Kristine Vejar, the owner, opened up access to her indigo dyeing pots for anyone with a skein of yarn or a bit of fabric to come and use.  So generous!  And, of course I showed up with a little linen.

Pots of Indigo.  Yes, they smell a bit and live outside.
Kristine dyeing my linen.  When it first comes out of the vat, it's bright green!
I have to say, there's really nothing more beautiful than a drying rack full of recently dyed indigo yarns.
Once the dye gets more oxygen, it turns from green to blue.
You can see a video of Kristine explaining all about indigo and indigo dyeing on the Ysolda blog.  I don't think it mentions the little tidbit that she told us the night of the dye demonstration about how, long ago, in order to get the ph levels just right, the indigo pots were fed with a strange mixture of mashed bananas and pee.  Yes, urine, specifically from a young boy???  (Maybe that's because they'll pee just about anywhere...go ahead, ask me how I know.)

And, here's my linen!  It turned a beautiful soft French Blue.


Now I just have to figure out how I want to use it!  Any ideas?

3 comments:

  1. I don't know if you remember but I took an awesome natural indigo dyeing class a couple of months ago. Three hour classes for five weeks!! I learned so much! I made table runners with my linen, napkins, scarves, etc. So many great ideas to do with it!

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  2. Ooh neat! Natural dyeing is on my to-learn list. I am learning to weave right now in school--I'll be interested to see what you do with it, should you take a class! I've been sewing and quilting for years but am having to re-learn everything I thought I knew about color--colors interact totally differently in weaving. One thing is for sure: I'll never take commercially produced fabric for granted ever again!

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