hand dyed

Indigo studio!

Sunday

Since the snow is gone (yeah!), I began indigo dyeing. It was finally warm enough during the May long weekend to set up an indigo vat. I happily spent much of the weekend dipping: two tablecloths, a dozen or more napkins, cotton/rayon scarves, linen handkerchiefs, and quilting cotton. Not ready to throw out the indigo vat, I stored it under our deck. 

trestles with board holding indigo vat and equipment for hand dyeing fabrics

A couple of weeks went by before I could get back to dyeing. I pulled out the indigo vat on Sunday to see if it was still viable. I tested a piece of pfd cotton and was surprised to find the indigo vat still had some life left! So I set up a makeshift indigo studio in the laneway.

indigo vat with fabrics floating on top in toronto ontario canada

I experimented with some small pieces of wool suiting, pfd cotton, linen/rayon crinkle scarves, cotton voile and double gauze cotton. The last two are new scarves that I am excited to be adding to my shop.
white cotton prepared for dyeing fabric dipped in indigo on fence
This pfd cotton has been dipped a few times and the colour is deeper than I was expecting.

wool suiting dipped in indigo oxidizing on tree toronto canada
One of the wool suitings scrunched and dipped. I didn’t expect the indigo vat to be viable so I didn’t have my drying rack set up. Instead, I used the bushes in our laneway.indigo dyed wool rolled up and tied with string by doris lovadina-lee toronto dyer
Another wool suiting rolled and tied.

yellow wool suiting dip dyed in indigo hanging from clothes hanger on fence post toronto ontario canada
This pale yellow piece of wool has a few moth holes, but I love the yellow and blue together.

metal stand with two pieces of indigo dyed cloth hanging toronto ontario
My neighbour showed up with this rack that she was going to throw out. It is perfect to use for hanging up the indigo dyed pieces. It just needs a little duct tape and will be a good addition to my dyeing supplies.

white cotton indigo dyed fabric and yellow wool fabric dyed in indigo hanging from metal stand

Here are a few of the pieces I’ve dyed during the second round of indigo dyeing drying on my new rack!

Monday

On Sunday, I left a piece of pfd cotton and a nui shibori scarf in the indigo vat overnight. On Monday, I pulled out the scrunched up pfd cotton and was happy to see a rich blue colour. 

cotton fabric dyed with indigo draped on bush

I recently read about an experiment where the dyer left pieces of fabric in an indigo vat overnight and compared those pieces to fabric that had been repeatedly dipped in the indigo. There was no difference in the depth of colour between the two, suggesting that repeated dips in indigo are not needed to dye a fabric, just a longer time in the vat. I haven’t washed these out yet, so I know that the colour will be lighter. I am happy to have had more time experimenting with this fascinating process.

 

Shop KOKITO for snow dyed shibori scarves!

I spent a lovely day in Prince Edward County meeting Shelley of KOKITO. This is a charming shop on Main Street in the town of Bloomfield, Ontario where the owners, Shelley Durnin and Jennifer Hadenne curate a beautiful selection of Canadian made and designed items. 

 

lamps, hoodies, bags handmade in canada available in Kokito a shop in southern ontario

Bloomfield is a small town located in the centre of the County. The Main Street is lined with small shops, restaurants and galleries. Everything is within walking distance and the shore of Lake Ontario is close by.

scarves, blankets, pillows and cards on display in back of Kokito store, locally made artisan shopThe shop stocks a great selection and variety of products all made by local artisans. Shelley and Jennifer source all the wares they sell in the shop personally, so every member of the family can find something they love. Kokito’s motto is: “Canadian Design and Lakeside Living” and this certainly describes the aesthetic of the shop.  

Shelves with hand made canadian items in KOKITO shop, Bloomfield Ontario

KOKITO store in Bloomfield ontario gift shop

I am happy to share that Kokito will be carrying my snow dyed shibori scarves as well as indigo napkins and table runners. The stack of hand dyed pieces below will already be out on display in the shop. 

shibori scarves, hand dyed placemats, indigo table runner available at Kokito in Bloomfield ontario shop

Prince Edward County is an area of southern Ontario that I had not visited. It has been described by friends as a beautiful, peaceful, yet vibrant place. I can see why! I hope you have the opportunity to travel to Bloomfield and meander around this pretty little town. When you do, visit Kokito and shop the beautiful locally made artisanal products for yourself or to give as gifts. You won’t be disappointed! 

Snow dyed mandala

There is very little snow left on the ground here in Toronto. I wanted to do some more snow dyeing, so I quickly prepared a couple of pieces of pfd cotton before all the snow melted. I folded one of the pieces of cotton so it would result in a mandala shape. The other was folded into a triangular shape.

shibori folded fabric snow dyed blue green toronto doris lovadina-lee

The mandala that emerged is beautiful. I sprinkled the snow topped cotton with a couple of blue dyes and a bit of yellow. I am not a methodical, scientific dyer, so each dyeing session is an experiment.

green mandala snow dyed toronto canada doris lovadina-lee

circular hand dyed cotton fabric mandala design doris lee

The triangular folded cotton is similar in colour, so I could use it in conjunction with the mandala. I really like how the colours are most intense on one edge, fading to a softer more watercolour effect.

shibori hand dyed with snow cotton quilting cotton toronto ontario small batch for sale

Since there was still one tiny pocket of snow left in the yard, I pulled out the last few metres of pfd cotton from my stash. There was just enough snow to cover the two pieces of cotton. I used the same colours of dye in different proportions. The fabric was also arranged differently from the first batch.

snow dyed quilting cotton pfd arashi shibori doris lovadina-lee

The piece above is 1 1/2 metres long and the pattern that reminds me of agate. The photo below is a detail from the piece.

hand dyed with snow cotton pfd toronto artist doris lee nui shibori available to buy

The itajime shibori cotton piece below is from the same snow dyed batch. It is quite different in design and the pfd cotton has absorbed a little more of the yellow to create a beautiful turquoise and green.

itajime shibori snow dyed cotton fabric toronto dorislovadinalee for sale

 

snow dyed itajime shbiori pfd handdyed quiting cotton for sale

I expect that we will not be receiving sufficient snow fall now that we are heading into spring. I do have a couple of other options I am considering to continue ‘snow’ dyeing all year-long.  Now I just have to buy some more fabric to do just that! 

Liberating Linens!

I love fabric in all its forms, especially linen. With age and use, linen becomes soft and drapes beautifully. Linen is extremely durable, it is absorbent, strong, doesn’t abrade and is stronger when it is wet. Linen or flax has been used for clothing, bedding and other household uses for many thousands of years.

Vintage linen hand towel textiles with crocheted monogram Doris lovadina-lee found in Guelph Ontario Canada

Although linen has had a resurgence in popularity, it’s been primarily in the clothing industry. It makes me sad to see beautiful linen napkins, hand towels and tablecloths in thrift shops. Some have beautiful handwork – tatting, crochet, embroidery, cutwork. Someone has lovingly and painstakingly created these precious and useful items.

detail of crocheted edge linen towel Doris lovadina-lee

So, I recently liberated a few pieces of linen from a thrift store. The bureau scarf above has a few small holes but the crocheted monogram and the detail around the entire piece is still pristine.

Doris lovadina-lee vintage bureau scarf white linen with edging
This hand towel with the beautiful deep crochet edge is in excellent condition and just needs to be pressed.

vintage hand crochet textile edges on linen tea towel dorislovadnalee.com

The tatting on the linen hand towel below has a little damage on one end. If it can’t be repaired, I will probably dip it in indigo this spring and then use it in an art project. I could also remove the damaged end, hem the towel. It is just to beautiful to toss!

tatted edge tea towel vintage find Toronto Ontario Doris lee

The hand embroidered flower garland is made of a coarser linen. I’ve washed it a couple of times to remove some stains, but they are stubborn. I will probably cut this one up for a project I have in mind.

vintage textiles tea towel with garland flowers embroidered on edge Toronto doris lovadina-lee

The puppies are also stained but too cute! This too will be cut up into a project.

hand embroidery puppy dogs on yellow tea towel Doris loading-lee

Liberated Linens

Liberating linens is not a new endeavour for me. Whenever I find napkins, towels, table runners or any other linens, I can’t help but bring them home with me. But, I can’t keep them all! 

hand dyed vintage cocktail napkins doris lovadina-lee shop online

The cocktail napkins above are dyed a beautiful purple. The set of 6 would be a fun addition to your next tea party. They are embroidered with a small flower on the corner and hemmed with a beautiful scalloped edge.

vintage napkins hand dyed shibori green repurposed doris lovadina-lee online shop

Two shibori dyed green cocktail napkins. Best with a dry martini!

for sale Thrifted textiles cotton napkins green and blue shibori handdyed by doris lovadina-lee

This set of 2 cotton table napkins in blue and spring green are just perfect for a fun luncheon with your best friend.

doris lovadina-lee online shop blue shibori set of three vintage hand-dyed damask table napkins Toronto

Three elegant napkins are shibori dyed in blue. Enjoy take out in style!

Look for these napkins in my new online shop. If you have any ideas for my newly liberated linens, let me know.

Mid-century modern reupholstery project

Last summer on my way to an appointment, I spotted a mid-century modern two seat lounger on the curb. The upholstery was awful, but the lines of the piece were sleek and modern. When I reached my destination, I called my husband and asked him to look at the piece and to bring it home if he thought it was worthwhile salvaging it.

midcentury modern wooden sette teak doris lovadina-lee

When I arrived home it was sitting on our back deck. The upholstery fabric shouted 1970’s and called for shag carpet. The wood was in great condition, but only three strips of the webbing were not broken. Sitting on the piece was a very delicate matter!

mid-century moderntwo seater teak vintage sofa Toronto doris lovadina-lee

We purchased new webbing and easily fixed the seat. The wood was cleaned and waxed. The upholstery fabric absolutely needed to be changed! I decided that instead of four cushions I wanted to have two. That way I only needed to put in two zippers instead of four and two cushions would look more modern and streamlined.

doris lovadina-lee itajime shibori snow dyed handdyed canvas upholstery fabric

I had been hand dyeing fabrics and scarves and wanted to try dyeing larger pieces of fabric. I was certain I could create an interesting hand dyed piece to use for the cushions. I split the canvas into 2 pieces one for each cushion and cut off a long narrow strip that would be used on the sides. The piece above shows the two ends of the same long strip!

teak midcentury modern sofa snow dyed canvas upholstery toronto dorislovadinalee.com

I snow dyed the fabric and am so happy with the results. The cotton canvas was fan folded and then folded into a triangle. The result of the folding was a tall stack of fabric. I decided to rest the stack of fabric on the bottom of the plastic tub instead of having it suspended above the melted snow.

Danish teak 2 seater lounge chair itajime shibori snowdyed canvas upholstery doris lovadina

As you can see when looking at the photographs, there is a distinct difference in the fabric. The part of the canvas stack sitting in the melted snow absorbed more dye. In the photo above, the cushions show the portion of fabric resting above the melted snow. The design is sharper with more white visible.
hand dyed itajime shibori canvas upholstered mid-century modern two seat teak sofa doris lovadina-lee

In the photo above, the seat cushion shows the part of the cotton canvas that was eventually submerged when the snow melted. This created a softer less distinct pattern. In the photo below, it’s the back cushion fabric that was submerged.

danish style teak lounger snow dyed upholstery doris lovadina-lee

We will be placing this mid-century modern lounger outside on our deck when the weather turns warmer. This summer we will be sitting in style!

Snow dyeing “pashmina” shawls

I purchased two shawls this past weekend so I could continue to take advantage of the snow that was still accumulating. One was labelled 70% pashmina, 30% silk. It was had a nice shimmer and was soft. The other shawl was labelled 100% pashmina. At both locations I asked specifically if the fibre content was wool and was assured that it was.

Not wool scarves hand dyeing experiment dorislovadinalee.com

 

Both shawls were washed to remove any finish that might deter the dye from adhering to them. They were soaked in a vinegar, salt and water solution to prepare the wool for dyeing.

snow dyeing ice dyed pashmina scarves toronto ontario dorislovadinalee

One of the shawls was folded into thirds and wrapped around a PVC pipe, the other was rolled around a string. A combination of navy, turquoise and yellow dye powder was sprinkled on top of the snow.

shibori scarves in dye toronto ontario canada local dyer doris lovadina-lee

After the snow had melted, the shawls were steamed to set the dye. In the photo above they had just been removed from the steamer, the colours were vibrant!

snow dyed scarves pashmina washing synthropol doris lovadina-lee local hand dyer

The shawls were rinsed and washed with synthropol to remove all the excess dye.

hand dyed pashmina scarves hanging to dry basement doris lee toronto ontario

Here they are drying on the line after all of the dye was removed. I could see as soon as I began rinsing them out that there was a problem. In my experience pure wool absorbs dye beautifully resulting in deep, rich, strong colours. So, these two supposedly wool shawls don’t contain any wool at all!

Nui shibori snow dyed not wool scarf toronto ontario dorisleehand made pashmina not wool shibori scarf dyed with snow toronto ontario canada

This is the nui shibori shawl after its final wash. It’s a soft ethereal blue.

pleated arashi pashmina shibori hand dyed scarf not wool doris lee toronto artist
The arashi shibori shawl has a bit more colour, and the steaming has set the pleats! Although the colour differs quite dramatically from the shawls just out of the steamer, they are a still very pretty – an icy blue.

Arashi shibori blue snow dyeing not wool scarf doris lovadina-lee toronto ontario

Well, this experience has taught me that not all labels are accurate! The results are not the rich deep colours I personally favour but the finished shawls are still lovely. I am still looking for 100% pure wool scarves. I have a lead that I plan on pursuing. Hoping they arrive before all the snow is gone!

Hand made fabric greeting cards

I have created a series of blank greeting cards using some of my hand dyed fabrics, and embellishments collected over the years.

indigo linen embellished handmade card created by dorislovadinalee.com

The note cards are a fun way to use some of my precious fabric pieces that are too small to stitch with (although some of my friends would not agree!)

mixed media bespoke greeting card with seashells, ribbon created by dorislovadinalee.com

Shells were collected from beach vacations. I purposely chose only shells that had a small hole, with the idea that I would stitch them onto some artwork in the future.

hand made cards by doris lovadina-lee in toronto, ontario, canada

I love the beautiful and nuanced look of Oakshott Cottons. The warp and weft are woven with two different colours, you can see the turquoise and blue in the piece above. So much more interesting than just a solid!

twisted heart greeting card by doris lovadina-lee in toronto ontario canada

A vintage linen napkin with a lovely finished edge in fuchsia is combined with cheesecloth and a heart. I call this one Twisted Heart!indigo cotton fabric, silk ribbon and glass flower bead embellished handmade greeting card by doris lovadina-lee

Indigo paired with glass beads and ribbon to celebrate your accomplishments.

hand made greeting cars embellished with fabric and shells and sayings

These blank mixed media note cards will be available soon in an upcoming holiday market.

Lipstick and Mascara: textile paintings

I have recently completed four new textile paintings. This series called: Lipstick & Mascara are a part of the Precious Snowflakes Holiday Art Sale and Festival. The Yellow House Gallery on Kingston Road in Toronto with the Cobalt Gallery and Clay Studio are hosting this event. Small pieces of original art  will be on display at these two venues and available for sale from November 17, 2017 to January 20, 2018.

original textile painting made by doris lovadina-lee with hand dyed fabric

Lipstick and Mascara 1
©2017 Doris Lovadina-Lee
6 x 8 inches
hand dyed cottons, commercial fabric, thread over canvas
$96.00

Lipstick and mascara2 an original textile painting by dorislovadinalee.com available at yellow house gallery toronto

Lipstick and Mascara 2
©2017 Doris Lovadina-Lee
8 x 6 inches
hand dyed cottons, commercial fabric, thread over canvas
$96.00

lipstick and mascara detail of quilting and fineline piecing of quilting cottons for the Precious Snowflake art show and sale toronto

Lipstick and Mascara 2 – detail
©2017 Doris Lovadina-Lee
6 x 8 inches
hand dyed cottons, commercial fabric, thread over canvas
$96.00

pink and black small artwork by dorislovadinalee.com called Lipstick and mascara made with hand dyed fabrics for the 2017 christmas art show

Lipstick and Mascara 3
©2017 Doris Lovadina-Lee
8 x 6 inches
hand dyed cottons, commercial fabric, thread over canvas
$96.00

Yellow House Gallery on Kingston Road Toronto hosting a holiday art show and sale with Doris lovadina-lee's piece: Lipstick and Mascara

Lipstick and Mascara 4
©2017 Doris Lovadina-Lee
6 x 8 inches
hand dyed cottons, commercial fabric, thread over canvas
$96.00

detail of lipstick and mascara4 with hand dyed cotton and velvet made by doris lovadina-lee

Lipstick and Mascara – 4 detail
©2017 Doris Lovadina-Lee
6 x 8 inches
hand dyed cottons, commercial fabric, thread over canvas
$96.00

This is a great opportunity to purchase original works of art from local artists.

Community Centre 55 Fall Fair Booth

Spent the day outdoors this past Saturday participating in Community Centre 55 Fall Fair. It was a beautiful hot day – more like summer than the beginning of fall! The tent held hand-made items by @peggythompson, @amysplacehandmade and myself.

booth with hand dyed items at the Community Centre 55 Fall Fair toronto ontario canada

Peggy is hanging up her tie-dyed t-shirts and had her beautiful jewellery is on display at the rear of the tent. Soy candles, bath salts and soaps scented with essential oils created by Amy from Amy’s Place HandMade were available. Her teacup candles are so beautiful!

doris lovadina-lee's booth at the community centre 55 fall fair toronto

Hand dyed shibori scarves are hanging, catching the breeze!

silk scarves by doris lovadina-lee at fall fair kimberley public school toronto

 

hand dyed pouches and postcards by doris lovadina-lee

l brought a selection of pouches made with hand dyed canvas and repurposed leather. Also on display are some of the quilted art postcards made with hand dyed fabrics and beading.

indigo table runners, napkins and vintage linens by doris lovadina-lee

Indigo table runners, dinner sized napkins, and pillow cases are on display.

Shibori hand dyed linen and cotton pillows made by doris lovadina-lee

Pillows made with indigo dyed cotton, cotton/linen.

quilted art postcards and hand dyed pillowcases by doris lovadina-lee at Centre 55 fall fair booth

It was great to spend some time outside talking to people from the neighbourhood.

 

Indigo Shibori Scarves 2017

Italian Linen

This beautiful lightweight linen was purchased in Venice, Italy this spring. I only bought enough to make three scarves. This is the only one left! Linen has a lovely drape and is perfect for the summer. I love the dramatic lines in this scarf.

Silk

This pole wrapped scarf is a gorgeous satin back crepe. It has a lovely sheen and weight. It drapes beautifully. I wish you could feel it!

The next two scarves are dyed using a lighter weight silk, equally soft and luxurious.

Rayon/Linen

Once the linen/rayon fabric was washed in preparation for the dyeing process, soft crinkle folds appeared. I love the texture. These scarves are easy to wear and travel very well. This Itajime shibori design was first dyed in a soft blue before being dipped in indigo.

Italian Cotton Gauze

This soft as a cloud cotton gauze was also purchased in Italy. While in Verona, I found a fabric shop that had a beautiful selection including some designer fabrics.

 

The scarf below surprised me when I unwrapped it. I first dyed the cotton gauze in a very pastel turquoise. I folded the fabric and used a metal switch plate as the resist. It was dipped in the indigo dye bath. Once it was unwrapped pink areas were visible, but no pink dye had been used! I am guessing that the metal switch plate reacted to the indigo. I thought that the pink would eventually fade away but it hasn’t and won’t. This scarf has been washed, dried and pressed with no change to the pink. I like it even though it wasn’t planned. Do any of you have an explanation for the pink?

All of my scarves have fringed edges and are machine washable. The Italian cotton gauze scarves and the linen/rayon crinkly scarves are available for $40.00 each. The silk scarves are available for $50.00 each and the last Italian linen scarf for $60.00.

How I wish my laundry line always looks!

 

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