Messy, but if you plan it out right first it can be contained and cleaned easily. My 1970's kitchen doubles nicely as a dying space as long as I am thoughtful about where the dye is, and where the parrots are, for that matter! Last night we dyed our stone-shibori bundles and the stitched pieces. These are the most labor intensive methods - from here on out it is just folding, twisting, clamping, and dyeing. Bring on the color! I don't like commercially printed fabrics too much anymore and feel that hand dyed pieces might be more inspiring.
I love how fun this process is -- like magic, really. The intensity of the tones and the contrast is electric. Indigo is fun to watch -- the yellow green turns into a rich navy blue before your eyes as it hits the oxygen in the air, and then changes again when being rinsed. SO MUCH FUN. And I need fun! We all do! The indigo batch is in the washer now and will be followed by a tiny load of the chemical dyed stitched pieces.
We sat around a table last night cutting rubber bands and releasing the stones that helped create rich bulls-eye patterns all over our cloth. It is a community activity as the dye makes names hard to see, so we each just grabbed a piece and did the handwork. Very tribal in nature. It was fun to see people's reactions to the fabric as they were undone - gasps of surprise and appreciation. It takes a lot of time to do this kind of thing, so not like so much of our modern world. So special!
My two 5 gallon plastic Market Basket buckets are on my kitchen table, dangerously close to the edge. If Toby investigates, the still-full indigo mess could turn Tilly a lovely shade of blue. I tossed in some threads and cotton twine in there last night and will see what comes out today. More play is needed, and the indigo batch is good for 3-4 days, so I will keep playing.
The buckets look fine on my kitchen table and might stay there for a while. Dyeing is good therapy for my slow-poke self. I feel like I accomplish something, beginning to end, when the cloth is done.
Today is lovely day. Sunny, dry air. I overslept after being up several times last night (prednisone, prednisone...) and am trying to get my mojo going now, albeit later than normal. Trying not to rush, too, and trying to tell myself it is ok not to rush through every morning. The arthritis is being a bear lately and while I hope it is just the physical repercussions of the end of the year stress, I have to acknowledge that time is marching on and the repeated assaults on my joints and tissues is taking its toll. Instead of adding more toxic drugs to the chemical stew that I have become, I'd like to add more art and fabric dyeing. I think it helps just as much.
Now...what to make from all these beautiful fabrics? Cheers!