November 17, 2005

Indigo Addendum

In which That Laurie does subtle experiments with another indigo vat and gives a bibliography for the inquisitive.

Here is the postscript to my indigo adventure of summer 2005. Since it started to get cool at night around here, I decided that it might be time for the last batch. Then, of course, we got a series of 80+ degree humid days which would have been wonderful for the plants – too late! This time I thought perhaps a more scientific approach might be of interest. I did a series of “dips.” The big skein is a “first dip” of twenty minutes in the dye vat. After that one, I used a series of 50-yard skeins of the same polwarth handspun. From left to right, following a pure white skein of the original yarn, you can see each successive immersion in the dye bath:


The gradations are interesting and distinctly different blues, I think. And they are different from the “first dip” 50-yard skein I did with the last vat. Below I offer a picture which includes all of blue array AND two skeins I dyed in cochineal – those two are pink:


The other BIG reason for this postscript is because I remembered that Stephanie’s blog readers include folks who really want bibliography. So here you go – lots of information about natural dyeing:

All Fiber Arts – website of fiber resources.

Anne Bliss. “Using Natural Dyes.” Spin-Off 8 (Fall 1984): 42-43.

Rita Buchanan. “Grow your own colors: Plant a dye garden” Spin-Off 11 (Spring 1987): 35-40. See also A Dyer's Garden: From Plant to Pot Growing Dyes for Natural Fibers (Lovett, CO: Interweave Press, 1995.)

Elsie G. Davenport. Your Yarn Dyeing: A Book for Handweavers and Spinners. Pacific Grove, CA: Select Books, 1972.

Glenna Dean. “Indigo Dyeing: Nigeria Meets New Mexico.” Spin-Off 24 (Spring 2000): 80-86.

Dyeing Notes. The Prairie Fibers Co.

Victoria Finlay. Colour: Travels through the Paintbox. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 2002.

Elizabeth Hoppe and Ragnar Edberg. Carding, Spinning and Dyeing: An introduction to the traditional wool and flax crafts. Reinhold Craft Paperback.

Elizabeth Merrill. “Japanese Indigo Polygonum tinctorium”

Kimberly Packwood. Natural Dye Journal: Cochineal and Multiple Extractions.

Eunice Svinicki. Step by Step Spinning and Dyeing: A complete introduction to spinning and dyeing. New York: Golden Press, 1974.

Trudi Van Stralen. “Production Dyeing with Natural Dyes.” Spin-Off 10 (Spring 1988): 52-56

Note from Steph: I know that I probably don't tell her this enough, because, could you tell someone this enough, but I really appreciate the time, energy, thoughtfulness and clever ideas that That Laurie brings to this blog. I love guest bloggers.
Thanks Laurie.

I'll see you tomorrow...or Monday. (It just occured to me that tomorrow could be complex. We shall see. In the meantime, me and these two Handmaiden skeins are getting on a plane.


Do you think New York and back is enough time to knit it into a scarf? (Weenies notwithstanding.)

Posted by Stephanie at November 17, 2005 10:38 AM