Undeterred by the weather forecast a group of friends met in my garden to 'do indigo dyeing' last week. We had plan B and plan C in case the dire forecast was true! The order of play was for an explanation of how the indigo vat works then a demonstration of how to set it up. I firmly believe that if 'learners' understand the reason for each stage in the process, see it being done and then do it themselves they are far more likely to be motivated to do it beyond the workshop and have the confidence to do it too.
Of course getting great results helps too.
So this was plan A. The weather held just about and everyone got great colours from their first 50g of stuff in the bath. Needless to say all involved were well prepared and had brought a variety of fibres, colours etc to try.
How much equipment do dyers need? Just getting started.
Wonderful rich indigo dyed fibre and fabric started appearing, and kept appearing. Indigo appeals to the full age spectrum, the grandchildren were excited on Sunday and us ' more mature' types were also excited today; but the difference was that everyone today had made their own vat.
The washing line got filled ! Job done - more confident indigo dyers and what a lovely day it was too. Fine cake, happy and enthusiastic people, a variety of conversation topics and a fascinating activity providing lovely take home bags. What more could one want? The weather did not kill our day, despite the threats of the weather forecasters. Well done everyone!
Weren't we lucky ! The next day was VERY wet, just the day for re skeining and labelling the yarn.
There's more about indigo, madder and weld- three traditional Norfolk Dyes on my blog post of 14 May 16. It includes historical details and brief details of the science of indigo dyeing.
PS I rarely get a chance to 'do' the Dyeing when running a workshop but dipping needed demonstrating. You can't waste an indigo bath can you, so here is my variety of fibres from the day.