Thursday, 10 June 2010

Indigo and woad workshop pics

We had a fab time last Saturday producing fabulous indigo and woad-dyed yarns and fabrics. With a small group it's great as everyone gets to make their own vat from scratch and we can do lots of overdyeing. Jayne's t-shirts above were a combination of tie-dye and overdye using logwood purple and woad (nearest two) and indigo (farthest away).

We used some interesting combinations of colours for our samples - Quebracho red, Cochineal, Persian berries, Weld and Coreopsis.

The cochineal in particular was really interesting. After mordanting the yarn in alum and dyeing it in the cochineal extract (one of my personal faves!), we divided the yarn into separate bundles and modified one with cream of tartar, one with acid and one with alkali. You can see the fascinating results we achieved with the modifiers and then how they interacted with the indigo and woad to give some beautifully subtle variations of blue/purple/lavender and the like. Reading across in order, top left to right we have.....

Top row: Cochineal with cream of tartar, Cochineal with alum, Cochineal with acid, Cochineal with alkali, Persian berries, Weld, Quebracho red, Coreopsis.

Middle row: Each of the above overdyed with woad

Front row: Each of the top row overdyed with indigo.

The photo doesn't bring out the subtleties in tone of the colours but they were really beautiful. If you're at Woolfest, I'll have the samples with me so do ask to have a look. It's quite fascinating to see the variations, especially in the yellow-based extracts as it's easy to think they are all the same, but they really do have different qualities, although sometimes it's more obvious when they are combined with other extracts.

I've uploaded some more workshop pics here if you'd like to see more : )

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