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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.

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Cosmos quilt

I have fallen in love with dyeing fabric! Each time I dye fabrics I am amazed at the results. Each piece of hand dyed fabric is unique. This beautiful mandala was snow dyed along with a few other pieces of cotton and I wanted to use this piece without cutting into it.

minimal modern mandala art quilt by doris lovadina-lee
Cosmos fabric selection 2

I auditioned a variety of hand dyed fabrics for the outside edges. I decided to quilt as you go, keeping the borders separate from the mandala.

Cosmos fabric selection using Doris lovadina-Lee's hand dyed and snow dyed cotton quilting fabric
Cosmos fabric selection 1

The mandala was machine quilted in a spiral with a walking foot, once I got close to the edge, I stopped, added the borders and continued with the spiral.

Cosmos detail of spiral machine quilting with Bernina sewing machine by doris lovadina-lee
Cosmos detail stitching

I also quilted the corner block in a small spiral, echoing the larger mandala.

Cosmos detail of corner of mandala art quilt with Doris' snow dyed cotton fabric
Cosmos detail corner
snow dyed fabric created by doris lovadina-lee toronto ontario canada
snow dyed fabric

This is one of the snow dyed shibori fabrics that was dyed at the same time as the mandala, so the colours worked well together. I cut into this piece to make the corner block.

Cosmos mandala art quilt by doris lovadina-lee

Cosmos
2016 ©Doris Lovadina-Lee
45 x 50 inches
Hand dyed fabric, thread
$1,200.00

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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?

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Indigo Bursts: textile paintings

Indigo dipped cotton, linen and white pique are combined to create four individual pieces of textile art. Machine quilting adds beautiful texture.

Indigo Bursts by Doris Lovadina-Lee
Indigo Burst: tetraptych
2016 ©Doris Lovadina-Lee
6 x 6 inches each
fabric, thread, dye on stretched canvas

Each textile painting is wrapped over a 6″ square gallery canvas.

Indigo Burst 1 by Doris Lovadina-Lee
Indigo Burst 1
2016 ©Doris Lovadina-Lee
6 x 6 inches
fabric, thread, dye on stretched canvas
$75.00
Indigo Burst 2 by Doris Lovadina-Lee
Indigo Burst 2
2016 ©Doris Lovadina-Lee
6 x 6 inches
fabric, thread, dye on stretched canvas
$75.00
Indigo Burst 3 by Doris Lovadina-Lee
Indigo Burst 3
2016 ©Doris Lovadina-Lee
6 x 6 inches
fabric, thread, dye on stretched canvas
$75.00
Indigo Burst 4 by Doris Lovadina-Lee
Indigo Burst 4
2016 ©Doris Lovadina-Lee
6 x 6 inches
fabric, thread, dye on stretched canvas
$75.00

These textile paintings can be displayed individually or grouped in twos or fours to create a diptych or a tetraptych.

If you are interested in having unique artwork to display in your home, contact me, I am happy to ship directly to you.

How would you choose to display these Indigo Bursts?

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A trio of hand dyed zippered pouches

I stitched three zippered pouches using some of my hand dyed fabric. I dyed some canvas and paired it with some beautiful stripped leather pieces.

Hand dyed canvas zippered pouch with leather accents
Hand dyed canvas zippered pouch with leather accents

The pouches are a great size for storing sewing accessories, makeup, pencils and many other small items.

Hand dyed unzipped pouch with leather accents
Hand dyed canvas pouch unzipped with leather accents

The pouch below is slightly larger and has a full leather bottom.

Hand dyed canvas zipped pouch with leather bottom
Hand dyed canvas zipped pouch with leather bottom
Hand dyed linen pouch with leather bottom
Hand dyed linen pouch with leather bottom

I dyed a couple of small pieces of metallic linen using the Itajime shibori technique to create this diagonal pattern. The linen has a lovely shimmer.

handdyed linen pouch with blue lining
Hand dyed linen pouch with blue lining

This linen and leather zippered pouch is lined with one of my hand dyed light blue cottons. What would you store in these?

 

 

 

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Indigo velvet Shibori

This silk velvet is one of the pieces I dyed in the Indigo workshop I took in the spring at the Colour Vie Studio with Pam Woodward. I had purchased a one yard piece of silk velvet and was saving it for just the right project. On the second day of the workshop I brought it in.

Indigo velvet
Indigo velvet

The silk velvet absorbed the indigo beautifully. The piece is a rich, deep blue. I love this piece – it is gorgeous.

Indigo velvet detail
Indigo velvet detail

My idea is to make a beautiful shawl, with a contrasting lining. I still have to find the right fabric for the lining. When I do, I am thinking of dyeing it a luscious fuschia. What colour would you choose?

 

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Indigo obsession!

I have been on a fabric dyeing binge since I took an Indigo dyeing workshop in May. I have been obsessed with creating patterns, colour and texture with Indigo and fibre reactive dyes. The fabrics I dyed in September are now stitched up into the pillows below. 

I will be bringing these indigo pillows, Shibori scarves in wool, silk and cotton and selection of quilted art postcards to the Yorkshire Rose Quilters’ Guild of Toronto Festive Marketplace next week. Come and see the results of my Indigo obsession for yourself!

Pillow stack

Indigo Itajime Shibori pillow back
Indigo Itajime Shibori pillow back
Indigo Itajime Shibori Pilow top
Indigo Itajime Shibori Pillow top
Nui Shibori Pillow top
Nui Shibori Pillow top
Nui Shibori Pillow back
Nui Shibori Pillow back
Indigo Itajime diagonal pillow top
Indigo Itajime diagonal pillow top
Pillow_Indigo Itajime quiltedback
Indigo Itajime diagonal pillow back
Indigo ombre pillow top
Indigo ombre pillow top
Indigo Ombre pillow back
Indigo Ombre pillow back
Indigo Ombre angle pillow top
Indigo Ombre angle pillow top
Indigo Ombre angle pillow back
Indigo Ombre angle pillow back
Indigo Velvet dip dyed pillow
Indigo Velvet dip dyed pillow
Indigo Velvet dip dyed pillow
Indigo Velvet dip dyed pillow back
Indigo velvet pillow
Indigo velvet pillow
Indigo velvet pillow back
Indigo velvet pillow back
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Green Shibori scarves

Dip dyeing, where you dip a piece of fabric into a dye vat is one of the easiest ways to dye fabric. Although it is uncomplicated, this technique provides endless variety of design fun.

Dip dyed scarf
Dip dyed scarf

I first saw this technique in Kim Eichler-Messmer’s book: Modern Color: an illustrated guide for modern quilts. In it she wrote about dip dyeing placemats and they were simply beautiful.

Dip dyed scarf
Dip dyed scarf

I’ve been experimenting with this technique and have two scarves to show you. The green scarf above was loosely folded, rolled and placed into a container of green dye. I left it until all the dye had been absorbed. This creates a striped effect with the fabric at the bottom of the container absorbing the most dye and is therefore the darkest.

Plaid dip  dyed scarf
Plaid dip dyed scarf

In the plaid scarf, I first folded, rolled, and dipped the piece in a yellow dye bath. I dried the scarf.

Plaid dip  dyed scarf
Plaid dip dyed scarf

The second step was to refold in the opposite direction, re-roll and re-dip in the second colour. This time I placed the scarf in a turquoise dye bath. I love the colour that is created where the yellow and turquoise intersect. It looks like a much more complicated design. I will be experimenting with dyeing more Shibori scarves in various colour combinations in the future.

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Indigo dyeing weekend

I spent two days of the long weekend dyeing a variety of cloth with Indigo. These are just three of about 30 pieces I dyed.

cotton cushion top wrapped and tied
cotton cushion top wrapped and tied

This cotton square was first wrapped around an empty plastic serving thread spool, held with an elastic band and wrapped with thread.

cotton cushion top unwrapped and untied
cotton cushion top unwrapped and untied

When first unwrapped, it has a very sculptural quality. This will flatten out when it is washed and pressed.

Indigo Nui shibori cotton cushion top string removed
Indigo Nui shibori cotton cushion top string removed

This cotton square was gathered on the diagonal and wrapped with long thin strips of fabric.

Indigo Nui shibori cotton cushion top string removed and diagonal design showing
Indigo Nui shibori cotton cushion top string removed and diagonal design showing

I like to wrap the strips so that there is a little space for the dye to seep in. This creates some lovely lines.

Indigo Nui shibori cotton/linen cushion top
Indigo Nui shibori cotton/linen cushion top

This cotton/linen rectangle was folded into thirds and triangles stitched across. There are three rows of stitching in each one.

Indigo Nui shibori cotton/linen cushion top unwrapped
Indigo Nui shibori cotton/linen cushion top unwrapped

Once unwrapped rows of squares appear in three rows.

There are heaps of washing and ironing in my future!

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More hand dyed scarves

I am still having fun!

Dyeing pink circles scarf
Pink circle cotton gauze scarf

I have so many more ideas for dyeing that I am back to it!

Creamsicle cotton gauze scarf
Creamsicle cotton gauze scarf

This beautiful orange Arashi Shibori or pole wrapped piece unwrapped into a beautiful cream and orange scarf. It reminded my husband of a favourite childhood ice cream treat – the Creamsicle!

Dyeing creamsicle unwrapped
Creamsicle cotton gauze scarf unwrapped

Here it is partially unwrapped, once washed it is a softer colour.

Radicchio 2 cotton gauze scarf
Radicchio 2 cotton gauze scarf

I was asked to make a scarf similar to the Arashi Shibori scarf in raspberry that I wrote about in July. I didn’t keep track of the colours I mixed to create that shade and was challenged to recreate the colour.

Radicchio cotton gauze scarf
Radicchio cotton gauze scarf
Arashi Shibori raspberry
Arashi Shibori raspberry

They aren’t exactly the same, but very similar. When I first unwrapped the raspberry coloured scarf, washed and dried it, the colour and veining reminded me of radicchio. Radicchio is a beautiful Italian chicory lettuce that grows in a tightly wrapped ball. The leaf is a purpley red while the veins are white. Next time you are at the grocery store look for it – the colour is gorgeous.
I am also dyeing scarves in a silk/cotton blend and a linen/rayon blend. I’ll have more photographs of those scarves as well as some velvet that I’ll be making into pillows.