nui shibori

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.

 

Indigo scarves at Artfest on the Esplanade.

I have been waiting very impatiently for warm weather so I could indigo dye. Finally, I was able to spend part of this long weekend indigo dyeing scarves, napkins and some baby onesies too. I will be bringing these hand dyed items along with my snow dyed scarves to Pickering, Ontario for their annual art festival: Artfest being held in Esplanade Park.

arashi shibori cotton rayon scarf draped on green fence by doris lovadina-lee

Generously sized cotton/rayon Arashi Shibori scarf dyed in indigo.

itajime shibori indigo dyed sarong draped on green picket fence toronto ontario canada

Itajime Shibori indigo dyed pareo.

nui shibori indigo scarf draped on green picket fence doris lovadina

Nui shibori cotton/rayon indigo dyed scarf.

indigo dyed baby onsies on hangers

Ombre dyed baby onesies dipped in indigo.

poster for Artfest 2018

The Weather Network is calling for a sunny Saturday with a few clouds and a high of 25. Perfect outdoor weather to explore Artfest On The Esplanade. Hope to see you there!

Snow dyed scarves at the Textile Museum of Canada Gift Shop

I am very pleased to have my Canadian Snow dyed scarves available for purchase at the Textile Museum of Canada’s gift shop. The museum is located at 55 Centre Avenue, Toronto, Ontario.

Entrance to Textile Museum of Canada Gift Shop with shibori scarves

I began using snow to hand dye this past year and love the results of this process. Snow is piled on top of the scarves that have been folded, twisted and tied using traditional shibori techniques. Up to three dye colours are used to create beautiful watercolour effects.

Quilt stand with snow dyed shibori scarves by toronto artist Doris Lovadina-Lee

lndigo scarves are also created using shibori folding techniques. Although not created with snow, they are still Canadian made. All of the scarves are made out of natural fibres like cotton, silk, linen, rayon and wool giving them intense rich colours. They are one-of-a-kind wearable art pieces.

Canadian artist doris lovadina-lee snow dyed shibori scarves on display

The museum has two exhibits currently on display: Artistry in Silk celebrates the work of Itchiku Kubota (1917–2003). The other exhibit is Jane Kidd: Curious  a display of hand-woven tapestries. Both artists use rich saturated colours to represent their environment. The exquisite silk kimonos made by Itchiku Kubota represent the four seasons, the changing landscape, light and feature Mount Fuji.  I love the use of colour in the tapestries by Canadian artist Jane Kidd! Her pieces are hand-woven with bold colours, but upon close inspection, you can see the varied and subtle colour shifts that give her work so much depth.

indigo and snow dyed shibori scarves by doris lovadina-lee doorway to gift shop of Textile Museum of Canada

 

I hope you have an opportunity to visit the Textile Museum. While there, please visit the gift shop to view all the beautiful offerings by local artists. You could take home a piece of Canadian winter!

Clothing labels

Labels are attached to objects to identify and describe that item. I am happy to have received my woven cloth labels from the Dutch Label Shop. These silky, soft labels are now going to identify my hand dyed scarves long after the package they arrive in is gone. 

snow dyed scarf tied around a handbag with doris lovadina-lee textile arts labelBoth of these snow dyed scarves have my new logo: Doris Lovadina-Lee Textile Arts label attached. The labels are small and soft, so they are unobtrusive when the scarf is being worn. Of course, I won’t mind if you flaunt your designer label!

clothing label doris lovadina-lee textile arts on blue wool shawl with hang tag

Dutch Label Shop is an online shop that specializes in creating small quantities of custom supplies for people who create with fabric, just like us! 

Dutch Label Shop clothing labels and hang tags for doris lovadina-lee textile arts toronto artist

You can design your own label or select images and text from a library of designs. Small quantities as low as 30 pieces up to thousands can be ordered in the design you create. Stock labels indicating clothing sizes and fabric care labels are available. Dutch Label Shop also prints hangtags

Wool arashi shibori shawl on snow by doris lovadina-lee toronto ontario textile artist

Nui shibori wool scarf hand dyed with snow by doris lovadina-lee toronto ontario canada clothing label

To receive a coupon code for 15% off your labels, sign up for my newsletter on my homepage or on the sidebar.

Show me your labels! Post photos of your labels on your beautiful handmade items and tag me: @lovadina.lee or send me a link to your blog.

Looking forward to seeing your creative new labels!

Best artwork of 2017!

Nine of my best liked Instagram posts from 2017. These were automatically generated by logging into: https://2017bestnine.com/.

Best hand dyed scarves, best artwork, best quilts by doris lovadina-lee instagram best nine toronto ontario canada

An interesting way to see your work in relation to how others see it. I was surprised at a couple of inclusions.

Instagram is such a great platform for capturing snapshots of your work. I use Instagram quite a bit in my work to:

  • record works in progress
  • record finished pieces
  • to help me ‘see’ my work at a distance
  • create a visual list take when shopping for materials
  • send information to others

How do you use Instagram in your work?

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.

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!

 

Silk Scarf Workshop at Amy’s Handmade Place

A group of creative women gathered together on Sunday at Amy’s Handmade Place to make their own hand dyeing silk scarves. Peggy (@peggythompson) listened attentively while I showed examples.

I demonstrated how to fold scarves to create different shibori designs. These pictures show glimpses of Amy’s beautiful studio space, located in the back of her shop: Amy’s Handmade Place. There is even a small deck outside the back where we enjoyed showing off our scarves.

Wendy (Pook & Thy) mixing up the dyes – turquoise and fuchsia for her scarf.

Scarves were rinsed but not yet washed and dried. They couldn’t resist showing off their handiwork!

Washed, and ironed. Lovely and soft. It was a fun day showing these eager students how to dye silk scarves.

Ginnie, Peggy and Amy wearing their very stylish scarves.

Amy and I in her store, can you see another one of my hand dyed scarves in the background?

There is another workshop scheduled for June 11th,  join us!

 

Silk Scarf Dyeing: an Artisanal Workshop

I am very happy to be teaching two afternoon workshops at Amy’s Place Handmade at 155 Main Street, Toronto, Ontario. Working in a sunny, bright studio, we will be dyeing a one-of-a-kind beautiful silk scarf. The dates are Sunday May 28, 2017 and Sunday June 11, 2017 from 12-3.

Artisan workshop silk scarf dyeing poster

The Process

Step 1: Folding, twisting and preparing scarf.

Scarves folded ready for dyeing

Step 2: Applying dye

scarves folded and dyed

Step 3: Rinsing and washing scarf

scarf folded and rinsed

Step 4: Admiring scarf!

scarf washed and pressed

Below are a few scarves I have dyed using very simple techniques that create beautiful textures and designs.

blue green shibori scarf

orange brown shibori scarf

red arashi shibori scarf

I hope that you will join me at Amy’s Place Handmade. Take a few hours for yourself to learn a new technique, make some new friends, have some fun and go home wearing your own original silk scarf.

Artisan workshop silk scarf dyeing instagram

See you there!

 

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.

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