Everybody loves Indigo!
This workshop is suitable for beginners and intermediate students. We begin with elementary techniques and move on to more sophisticated and experimental projects. There will be plenty of opportunity for you to explore and practise a wide variety of techniques.
It is called Adire in West Africa, shibori in Japan and Tie-dye in Western Culture, but these terms refer to the same type of dyeing. The Japanese in particular have perfected the art of resist dyeing, meaning manipulation of the fabric by folding, clamping, twisting or stiching, the dye is prevented from entering the fabric. In this way patterns are created which can be free-flowing or geometric and formal.
However the technique is now far removed from the hippie image of the 60's and has come of age with watercolour effects and modern and innovative ways of applying this ancient technique. It is used by many fashion houses and its variations are endless.
There are many plants that contain Indican, the blue dye. Hence it can be grown all over the world from India to China, Africa, Asia, South America and even Australia has its own plant
Indigofera Australis! It grows wild in the Blue Mountains.
First fragments of indigo dyed cloth were found in Egyptian graves.
More recently Indigo has been cultivated and used in textiles in India and travelled from there all over the world. Vasco da Gama brought it to Europe through newly established trade routes, where it posed a great threat to the local (European) woad industry (a lighter version of the dye).
Due to its colourfastness and brightness the magic blue dye stuff was used and grown widely, also in the Southern States of America where it became vital in Denim jeans (Serge de Nîmes) production.
With the advent of aniline dye derived from coal tar, discovered by William Perkin in 1856, natural Indigo was replaced by a synthetic version.
Thankfully natural dye industries have revived again all over the world and DyeHaus is attempting to grow and produce its own Indigo crop.
Indigo is a vat dye, in the natural as well as the synthetic version.
The two dyeing processes are very similar and very difficult to tell apart on fabric samples.
However the natural Indigo dyeprocess doesn't use Hydro sulphite to reduce (taking the oxygen out of the dye vat) but organic anti-oxidants like fructose.
Indigo doesn't require a mordant (fixative) but needs to be brought out of the state of suspension to penetrate the cloth, This is done through reduction and oxidising, exposing the fabric to the air after immersion. This process can be repeated several times to achieve a darker shade.
My workshops focus on exploring a full range of Shibori techniques such as folding, clamping, stitching; using a variety of resists, as well as an introduction to 3D shibori and Indigo dyeing on coloured fabric. The day will be full of new ideas and inspiration.