snow dyeing

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!

Artfest on the Esplanade 2018

Join me Saturday May 26, 2018 at the Artfest on the Esplanade from 11-5. This annual event takes place at The Esplanade Park in the City of Pickering. I will have a booth displaying my hand dyed shibori scarves. 
poster for Artfest 2018
I have kept busy this winter creating a line of unique and beautiful snow dyed scarves.

snow dyed crinkle linen rayon scarf hand dyed doris lovadina lee

The Canadian snow collection of hand dyed scarves need to be seen in person to appreciate the subtle changes of colour and pattern. No two scarves are the same and no scarf is identical from one end to the other!

canadian snow dyed crinkle scarf by toronto artisan doris lovadina-lee

The Artfest on the Esplanade has partnered with the Lishman family to provide inspirational art, film and sculptures form the late Bill Lishman.

The photographs above showing images of a couple of scarves is in reality the photograph of one scarf!. The entire scarf can be seen below.

crinkle hand dyed shibori scarf by doris lovadina lee toronto

Hope to see you at this fun event. Come by my booth to say hello! Looking forward to spending some time outdoors after a long winter.

 

When is black – blue, red, green and yellow?

The most recent batch of cotton scarves were snow dyed using a fibre reactive dye in black. I was persuaded by my mother to create some black and grey scarves because “they go with everything”. Itajime shibori scarf snow dyed doris lee

I decided that I would use up some of the last bit of snow from the ice storm and see what would result from using only one dye colour.nui shibori cotton/rayon scarf snow dyed with black dye by doris lovadina-leeRaven Black, Better Black, New Black, Hot Black and Jet Black are the names of a few of the black dyes available. Some are better for hot water dyeing and others are best for low immersion dyeing. But, none of these are single hue dyes, rather they are made up of a mixture of two or more dyes.
snow dyed shibori scarf using black dye by artisan doris lovadina-lee

So I wasn’t surprised that the black scarves were not black at all! After I washed and dried the scarves and could see the variation in the colours, I decided to try an experiment. I took the black dye powder and dissolved it in water and sprinkled it on snow to see what colours would appear.

tsp with black fabric dye dissolved in water

Red, blue, purple are all visible in the teaspoon and table. In this photo, a pinch of dye was sprinkled with water and instantly, you could see the variation in the  colours.

snow with melting black dye showing mulitcoloured pigments

I also sprinkled a small amount of dye powder on the snow and bright spots of vibrant purples, greens, yellows and blues appeared.

shibori black dyed cotton scarf snow dyed by toronto artist doris lovadina-lee

 

The itajime shibori scarf above is predominantly green on one end changing to soft purple and grey on the other end.nui snow dyed cotton/rayon scarf detail by doris lovadina-lee toronto

The nui shibori scarf above has strong stripe effect that is green, while the scarf below is more blue and purple overall with a touch of green as an accent.

nui shibori scarf hand dyed toronto artisan doris lovadina-lee

While the colours showing in the snow and teaspoon included yellow and red, none of these appear on the scarves. It seems that these dyes were not present in sufficient amounts to stand on their own, rather they combined to create the purples and greens that did appear. Even though the scarves are not black and grey, the variations in colour and pattern are very pretty. In order to achieve the colours my mother suggested, I will have to try again using the more traditional low immersion dyeing. 

What has your experience been when dyeing? 

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!

Snow dyeing photography shoot

I am working on a final photography project and have shot a lot of images. Thank goodness, my camera is digital. I can’t imagine how much film I would have had to process and then discard! red blue yellow black dyes in pewter cups on fence doris lovadina-lee toronto ontario canada

These are three photographs I took this weekend that won’t be including in the final cut. 

yellow dye in pewter cup on fence with branches toronto ontario canada photo shoot
Although I won’t be using these photos, I am very happy with the results and wanted to share them with you.red dye on ice close up doris lovadina-lee toronto textile artist photo shoot

My plan is to take photographs in natural light. But, with the weather not cooperating, I will need to think creatively in order to finish this project. Unfortunately, moving to sunnier, tropical climates is not an option at this time!

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! 

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!

Overdyeing silk scarf

One of the pieces of silk fabric I snow dyed resulted in a beautiful palette of spring greens. A mandala is centered on the 36″ silk square.

At the same time, I dyed a long silk scarf. The results of this piece was not as successful. A small amount of the dye was deposited on the outside of the folded triangle, while the centre folds had almost no dye.

Silk scarf

I decided to put this scarf into another dye bath. I had already washed it out, so I pressed it into the same folds as the first time I dyed it and proceeded to dip it into a turquoise dye bath.

Silk scarf unfolded

The results are much more interesting and vibrant! Don’t be afraid to dip your fabrics back into another dye bath, if you aren’t pleased with your results.

 

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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