Saturday, November 19, 2016

Indigo Tie-Dye (Shibori)

What to do on a sunny fall day? I cooked, I blogged, I took pictures of leaf piles my children made. And then I decided that it was going to be Indigo Dying Day!

I'd never done it before, but I'd read about it and decided I could totally do this. I started by ordering this indigo dye kit from Amazon and some white cloth napkins. 

As my family played in leaves, I rooted around in the garage for a 5 gallon bucket. I settled for an empty Tidy Cats bucket that my neighbor had given us stones in for my driveway planter! It was just what I needed! 

I read the directions, mixed up my dye, and looked at examples in the booklet for ideas on how to tie the rubber bands on my napkins. 

The kit included thick and thin rubber bands, so I mixed it up on each of my napkins and used both. Each napkin was an attempt at a slightly different pattern. I had no idea if it was going to work or not, but I was too excited to be very worried about it.

WEAR GLOVES! The gloves I wore were ok, but next time I'm going to wear longer ones...the kind you'd wear for doing dishes. As I worked, the ink dribbled into the tops of my gloves and my hands are now slightly blue. 

See? Compared to Randy I look like I'm turning into Violet from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. It won't last forever, right? A few days of artsy hands won't hurt. Maybe it'll be a conversation starter! After banding the napkins and donning my too-short-for-this-project rubber gloves, it was dye time!

I wiggled each napkin around in the bucket-o-dye for several minutes, working the dye into the fabric. 

When removed from the dye I noticed that the napkins were bright green

Each napkin was laid on a plastic bag in my driveway. It didn't take long for the bright green to darken into a deep, dark, beautiful blue. 

When my husband and our neighbor were finished taking care of the leaves, they kept me company as I worked. They admired my mess and asked questions. They also admired the process. It's an interesting process to watch, but it's best to keep your distance if you're not dressed for the occasion. Especially if you're around me. I'm a slob when it comes to dying. 

I dribbled indigo dye on my favorite L.L.Bean slippers! I dribbled indigo dye on my warm wool socks! Needless to say, don't wear things you love while making artistic messes. Next time I'll practice what I preach to my students!

Before you judge too harshly, you should know that the rest of my outfit was practical for the job, ok? It was also super comfortable. Once the napkins had been out in the air for 20 minutes or so, I rinsed each one thoroughly in clean water, untied the rubber bands, and hung them on my neighbors fence to air out a bit. 

It felt like I was opening gifts on Christmas morning!

Each napkin was different, and I couldn't wait to see how they looked!

I LOVE THEM! I'm totally hooked and cannot wait to do this again! After airing them out a bit I took them to the local laundromat to wash them (I didn't want to take the chance in my machine). They didn't take long to wash and I dried them at home. They are BEAUTIFUL! 

After being washed and dried the color lightened to lovely shades of blue and indigo. They're ready for napkin rings and a dinner party! After my hands are back to normal, I'll be ready too!

I scored these sweet rose copper napkin rings on eBay and they are PERFECT!!! The copper is a beautiful complement to the indigo. I love the old with the new. I love the uniqueness of each of these. Love, love, LOVE!

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