What a mess. I may never get all the English Monkey out of the carpet. And, what’s with the underpants I found in the ice bucket? People, you weren’t even supposed to be wearing underpants. Keffiyehs ONLY.
With the weekend fast slipping away, it was time to really immerse myself in the blues. The real blues. Indigo, baby. Armed with three yards of washed, unbleached muslin and a small silk scarf, I set out to mess around with indigo dye and kakishibui , just to see what might happen.
Check it out.
Properly prepared, the indigo dye pot looks like a witch’s cauldron. The top is dark blue, bubbly and scummy where the dye meets the oxygen in the air. The water beneath, however, is a clear, limey green color.
I prepared the muslin for the dye pot while it was still damp from washing to remove any sizing in the fabric. Adopting a shibori technique, I bound Lake Superior stones into the fabric and secured them with copper wire. Then, I accordion-pleated the whole thing together, wrapped it with more wire and ended up with this bundle to dip into the indigo.
Here is the bundle after about ten minutes, being lifted out of the pot. You can see that the initial color is more green than blue. It is the exposure to the air that will turn the dye blue.
Oxidation has taken place in this picture where I am in the process of unwrapping the stones.
Here is the entire piece of fabric stretched out to dry before I retie it for a dip into a bath of kakishibui.
The kakishibui coats the fabric (it is not a dye so it doesn’t penetrate the fibers) with a pinkish-brown color that will darken over time. It also deepens the indigo hues.
I couldn’t be happier, even with underpants in my ice bucket.