hand dyeing

Monetizing Your Craft Part 2 – Who I Listen To

Help, guidance, inspiration and motivation can be delivered to your In Box! Last week during the panel discussion at the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild, three of us shared our journey into Monetizing Your Craft! The time went by so quickly that I didn’t have time to mention the resources I find helpful in crafting my business. Listed below are just some of the many resources available on the web. I have enjoyed listening to these people talking about their passion. 

parfait dyed quilting cotton brown, blue, rust hanging on laundry line

Podcasts

shibori indigo dyed cotton overdyed in purple and the other in green

Websites

parfait handdyed cotton for quilting by doris Lovadina-Lee drying on line

I encourage you to have a look at the sites above. You will find some that speak to you and others that won’t. When you find some those you enjoy, sign up for their newsletters, YouTube channels, and feeds. Support these creative entrepreneurs! Please let me know which blogs, podcasts you have found informative or just fun so I can add to my list. Enjoy!

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.

 

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! 

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

0

Your Cart