Studio Redux 061411

The excitement and anticipation is starting to set in, I cannot wait to work in my new studio space!  John is retrofiting an old book shelf to fit it's new space, then we will move three bookshelves into the new space and a final bookshelf will be retrofitted for the space.  I wasn't sure as to how I'd fit everything into the space but with the two bookshelves being rehabbed it'll work!  Photos on Thursday.

Until then my madder root dye bath, that I have been ignoring and horribly so had the good graces to turn red yesterday so tomorrow it's off to wet studio and will be dyeing a variety of fabrics.

Dyeing with Instant Indigo

There are a mutlitude of ways to set up an indigo vat, my personal preference is for instant indigo ;-) That being said...

CAUTION: Wear Gloves, Dust Mask and/or Respirator, and protective eye wear, when Handling Instant Indigo it is caustic.

To use Instant Indigo, a naturally reduced indigo vat that has been flash frozen, add 1 Tablespoon of Instant Indigo to 4 gallons very hot tap water.

Use a plastic bucket, or a non-food use studio dedicated stainless steel or enamel pot for dyeing.

After placing instant indigo into the hot water do NOT stir as this will introduce air into the vat. Allow to sit for 15 minutes, this allows the crystals enough time to dissolve.

Then add your fabric or fiber to the vat allow to sit 5-15 minutes.

Using tongs, remove your fabric or fiber from the vat very quickly.

Do NOT allow liquid from yarn or fabric to drip back into the vat as this will introduce air into the vat.

Allow fabric to oxidize by hanging it up flat so it will receive air on all sides., your fabric may be greenish when you remove it from the vat. I allow my fabric to hang for 15 minutes or so others state that the fabric must oxidize for 24 hours before going back into the vat!

Rinse fabric thoroughly.

Dip your fabric, into the Instant Indigo vat again, repeating process as above until you acquire the color depth desired.

Indigo yields it’s best colors through multiple dips and appropriate oxidation.

Neutralize your fabric or fibers using vinegar. 1 cup white vinegar to 1 gallon water is sufficient.

Wash fabrics and fibers with a mild soap in the usual manner.

Dyeing With Onion Skins

Fall is an excellent time to dye with onion skins as Onions are being harvested now!

Materials List:
Onion Skins
Stainless Steel Pot
Heat Source
You will need to mordant your wool with Alum first to ensure that your color is permanent.

Onion Skin Dye Bath

  • Take onion skins and place in stainless steel pot, make sure this is a studio dedicated pot, and cover with hot or boiling water.
  • Allow to sit overnight.

  • The next day bring dye pot to a simmer and leave for one hour.

  • Remove onion skins if desired - leaving them will create a mottled yarn or fabric.

  • Place wet rinsed mordanted wool into dye bath and simmer for two hours.

  • If using the cold dyeing method leave wool overnight in the dye bath.

  • Remove wool from dye bath, rinse snd dry

  • NOTE: wool may have a slight onion smell this is normal with natural dyed goods.

Your wool is now ready to use!