|Created with sea shells collected from Aruba|
I have had a love affair with indigo for as long as I can remember. I think I was in junior high school when I learned a little of its history. I learned more about the dark side of indigo from Merry Silber. I encourage you to read the Quilters' S.O.S. - Save Our Stories interview that I conducted of her and see her wonderful indigo quilt. She was a collector. She died not long ago.
Anyway, I had been meaning to try indigo dyeing for years and decided that there was not better time than now. Dyeing with indigo is a little different than regular dyeing. There is a "flower" on top of the dye that must be preserved. It's removed during the dyeing process and replaced once you're done. The vat of dye can last 2-3 days and you have to have a lid. You can't let the fabric sink to the bottom which meant holding the fabric in the vat. A tad boring to say the least but it was so much fun watching the fabric turn from green to blue (takes about 20 minutes). It is also important to prevent oxygen from getting into the dye which means squeezing the fabric bundles. I was successful most of the time. I do know that next time I am going to be better prepared (have all my folding and rubber banding done ahead of time. That said, I try to strike when the spirit moves me and I am not disappointed. Now I have about 2.5 yards of fabric in various sizes ready to use in my next indigo quilts! I used both PFD (prepared for dyeing) cotton and dupioni silk.
|dupioni silk folded, small piece of wood rubber banded around the bundle|