Posted on

Rowland Rickett’s Master Class in Indigo Dyeing

The Textile Museum of Canada in conjunction with the Contemporary Textile Studio Co-op in Toronto hosted Roland Ricketts in a sold out indigo dyeing workshop.

template for indigo dyeing with Roland Ricketts at the Contemporary Textile Studio Coop

Commonplace materials were used to create a template for stitching our design.

yukata cotton with dots showing the stitching pattern for indigo nui shibori

This chevron pattern was a challenge even though Roland very carefully explained the process! The design is transferred to the narrow cotton kimono cloth that is also used in making tea towels in Japan. The other end of the cotton is visible at the top. The edge has been marked and  gathered, ready for the indigo dye bath. These edges are held in place by 8 layers of folded cotton. This will give the design a continuous solid colour from edge to edge.

indigo tea towel sample by Roland Ricketts in the master class in indigo dyeing

I believe this is Roland’s example created in class. After being dipped in the Contemporary Textile Studio’s natural indigo vat three times, two stitches were removed and the piece was dipped into the indigo vat again. This gives the cotton a beautiful ombre effect.

set up for indigo dip dyeing to create ombre with roland ricketts

Another technique Roland demonstrated was how to create a gradient effect. The very thin poles are made out of bamboo and are inserted into the fabric edges. This easily allows the fabric to be held apart to facilitate the dyeing process.

roland ricketts demonstrating indigo dyeing technique in toronto ontario canada
My slightly blurry photo of this piece.

ombre sample dip dyed by roland ricketts in workshop drying

 Roland Ricketts’ work:

Roland Ricketts showing his indigo dyed table runner

Roland brought samples of his work. The designs, colour and quality of his indigo pieces are outstanding. I encourage you to view his much better photographs on his website: Ricketts Indigo. You will also see work by Chinami Ricketts. Chinami hand weaves beautiful cloth used in kimonos.samples of nui shibori indigo dyed samples by roland ricketts

folded indigo sample of stitched resist by roland ricketts

Chevron indigo fabric dyed by Roland Ricketts shown during the Textile musem indigo workshop in toronto canada

Wrapped in plastic to protect the handwoven cotton cloth is a kimono length woven by Chinami and dyed by Roland. This piece still needs to be overdyed before it is complete.Hand woven cotton by Chinami Ricketts and indigo dyed by Roland Ricketts

I took my indigo dyed pieces home and hung them outside to dry. The piece on the right is from the workshop. I dipped it three times and then removed two rows of stitching to achieve the lighter shade of blue at the top. The two handkerchiefs were brought from home and dyed with no resist.

Doris Lovadina-Lee's indigo samples from Roland Ricketts master class in indigo dyeing workshop by the Textile museum of canada

The scrap cotton that was used on the ends of the bound piece have an interesting texture. You can see the small dots, some with the threads still attached where the stitching was secured. These small bits will find a way into my work too!Scrap cotton from the roland ricketts indigo dyeing workshop attended by doris lovadina-lee in toronto canada

The indigo will need to be stored in a dark dry place for a couple of weeks before I finally wash and neutralize the fabric. I am looking forward to using this fabric in some new artwork.

I learned so much taking this indigo dyeing workshop and realize that I have so much more to learn. Making time for learning, sharing and meeting other artists is so very important. I hope you take the opportunity whenever you can.

Posted on

Studio setup and packaging

Improving my photography skills has been on my to do list.  With time on my hands this weekend due to the cancellation of the Urban Market, I was able to try experimenting.japanese inspired itajime shibori silk scarfThere is a bit of shadow in this photo of a hand dyed habotai silk scarf.

orange and green itajime shibori silk scarf by doris lovadina-LeD

I draped this silk scarf over a navy paper bag, again a little too much shadow.

Wool silk blend scarf nui shibori dyed by Doris Lovadina-Lee Designs

This wool/silk blend scarf was laid out on my ironing board. I really love that you could see the colour transition and the patterns that are created. But the photo would probably better if the scarf was hung vertically.

wool silk pastel hand dyed scarf by doris lovadina-lee

I draped some white paper to create a backdrop like real photographers do in studios. My roll isn’t wide enough! This is another wool/silk blend that was dyed in pink, grey and blue.

hand dyed silk scarf by Doris Lovadina-Lee

l will look into wider paper and also better lighting. The light source in the photograph above is coming from the window to the left. This habotai silk scarf shows up better than the first one I think.

sunshine silk scarf by Doris Lovadina-leeI have purchased some new light bulbs and will try again. The habotai silk scarf above is beautifully vibrant in real life, Much  better looking than in the photo. Having 2 light sources on either side will certainly work better. I do like the way the scarves look draped rather than flat.

Posted on

Shibori Hand Dyed Italian Cotton Gauze Scarves

While I was on my trip to Verona, Italy this spring, I purchased some beautiful, soft cotton gauze. I knew this would be perfect for dyeing some lightweight spring and summer scarves.

Each scarf is individually dyed with Procion MX dyes. I challenged myself to create some softer more pastel colours and am happy with the combination of the turquoise and amethyst.

 

 

Of course, I also dyed a few in more intense colours! This central portion of this scarf was gathered onto a narrow pipe where the purple and blue was placed, leaving the edges free.

I love using the same colour in different intensities. This cotton gauze scarf was first dyed in a pale pink and overdyed in a burgundy.

All of the scarves a generous 18 x 80 inches or 45 x 200 cm. They have raw fringed edges and are machine washable.They can be left to dry for the soft crinkly look you see in the photos. Of course, they can also be ironed for a more crisp effect. All of my Italian cotton gauze scarves are available for $40.00 each.

Posted on

Hand dyeing workshop with the London Modern Quilt Guild

I spent last Saturday teaching an enthusiastic and adventurous group of women hand dyeing with Procion MX dyes. Kristyn of the London Modern Quilt Guild of Canada asked me last year if I would be interested in teaching how I dye fabrics to the guild members. I was excited to be able to share my love of dyeing.

I created kits for all the participants.

Our group set up in a room in the East Lions Artisans Centre in London, Ontario. It is a great facility with access to plenty of water! Necessary for any dyeing workshop.

Some of the beautiful and colourful hand dyed fabrics drying.

One of the very courageous members @melonpatch.quilts brought cotton yarn. The example above is dyed with olive-green and then sprinkled with black. I can’t wait to see the results.

These are just a few of the lovely pieces that the guild members experimented with. T-shirts, silk scarves, linen, silk noile, a canvas hat, and many pieces of cotton were dyed in a rainbow of colours.

Thank you all for letting me spend the day with you, sharing and creating a rainbow of fabrics.

Posted on

Snow dyed fabric

I love fuchsias, pinks and reds. These colours make me happy and energized. It’s the colour palette I gravitate towards when choosing colours for a project.

 

All of the two metre pieces of cotton were dyed with snow in December.

I love that each piece of fabric has a change of pattern and colour intensity from edge to edge.

Berene from Happy Sew Lucky commented on instagram that the piece is like a complex ombre. I think that’s a great description of these pieces.

Observing the pieces folded in half, they look like two completely different pieces of fabric.

 

There are so many design possibilities in each piece of yardage.

What colours make you happy?

Posted on

Indigo dyeing Fall 2016

I was hoping to squeeze in one last weekend of dyeing and was lucky to have a beautiful day this past weekend, to set up an indigo dye pot.

oct2016_indigo_preparation
Arashi and nui shibori

I had some pfd fabric that I wanted to dip in the pot, as well as some scarves that I wanted to over dye.

Sushi and itajime shibori
Sushi and itajime shibori

I tried one new technique: sushi shibori. The fabric is fan folded and then rolled up like a sushi roll, wrapped with elastic bands or string.

Itajime scarves and quilting cotton
Itajime scarves and quilting cotton

Three scarves and one metre of pfd cotton folded and clamped.

Linen napkins and quilting cotton wrapped and bound - itajmie shibori
Linen napkins and quilting cotton wrapped and bound – itajime shibori

I made two sets of linen napkins: four are cocktail sized and four are generous dinner sized napkins in a light beige colour. I use all sorts of items as a resist including canning lids, paint stir sticks, plastic electrical wall plates, elastic bands, and pieces of wood.

Scarves to be overdyed
Scarves to be over over dyed

I had a few scarves that I had dyed but wasn’t happy with the way they turned out. Two of them were rayon but they didn’t absorb the dye very well and turned out very pastel. The green in the lower right was dip dyed in green and yellow dye baths but the result was not very interesting. The shawl on the left was dip dyed in blue and it was boring as well. All of these were destined to be re-dyed. I am looking forward to seeing the results.

Indigo bundles and fabric drying
Indigo bundles and fabric drying

It was a beautiful, sunny warm day and I set my work area outside. The drying rack is loaded with some of the dyeing.

Indigo yardage
Indigo yardage

I hung some of the fabrics from some low hanging branches in between dips.

Indigo yardage and overdyed scarf
Indigo yardage and over dyed scarf

The cotton yardage is still wet in the photo above and is darker than when it is dry. The green strip is one of the scarves I over dyed. It already looks much better than before!

Indigo scarves and yardage
Indigo scarves and yardage

I wanted to speed up the oxidation and drying process, so I carefully unfolded some of the clamped pieces and suspended them from low hanging branches. I am still waiting for some of the wrapped arashi shibori pieces to dry.

Indigo arashi cotton fabric
Indigo arashi cotton fabric

Last night I carefully unwrapped the damp fabric from one of the pvc pipes. I love the texture of cotton. I hope that the deep blue colour remains after it is washed. There are still a few pieces I haven’t unfolded, maybe next week.

Posted on

Snow dyeing with Procion MX fabric dye

This is what it looked like in the corner of our backyard yesterday. A very light snow fell consistently throughout the day, prompting me to do some snow dyeing!

Snowfall February 2016
Snowfall February 2016

The fresh snow was perfect for dyeing fabric with Procion MX dyes. Vicki Welsh of Field Trips in Fiber recently posted tips on snow dyeing. She achieved some very beautiful results. I especially loved the mandalas shapes that she created.

Snow on branches
Snow on branches

I have done some snow dyeing in the past and have been happy with the results. What I haven’t tried is dyeing fabric using Shibori techniques to create mandala designs. I folded a one metre cut of fabric into a wedge and then refolded it into a rectangle.

Shibori folded fabrics ready to dye
Shibori folded fabrics ready to dye

The other two white pieces of fabric are fat quarters accordion folded into: a triangle and square. I used Nui Shibori on the olive fabric, creating a row of diamond and a row of circles, the rest is scrunched up. The fabrics were soaked in soda ash, wrung out and arranged in a plastic tub that I poked holes into for drainage.

Fabric covered with snow
Fabric covered with snow

I went outside and packed snow on top of the fabrics, piling up about four inches or so. I placed the plastic tub into another tub to catch the melted snow.  I layered a few plastic yogurt lids underneath so that the perforated tub would sit above the melted snow.

Dye covered snow
Dye covered snow

I mixed three colours of dye: black, cerulean blue, and fuchsia and randomly poured the dye concentrate over the top of the snow. The entire project was placed safely into the laundry tub overnight. I expect that all the snow will have melted by the end of my work day today. I can’t wait to see the results!