Sunday, October 04, 2009

Natural Indigo Dye Workshop with the Quilter's Guild

Yesterday 17 ladies from the Sunshine Quilter's Guild in Grand Forks converged on Joybilee Farm for an Indigo Dye Workshop. The ladies each dyed either 4 cotton fat Quarters or 2 fat quarters and 1 silk scarf. It was a blast.

Although there was a light sprinkling of snow before the workshop, the weather was cool but dry for the entire 3 hour workshop. We had a propane heater going to warm our hands and the studio was utilized for warmth. For the most part everyone was too excited with their shibori creations to worry about a little cool weather.

We used 12 indigo stock solution jars and 4 large indigo vats to keep everyone going. Each person folded, clamped or tied their fat quarters and we rotated 8 projects through each vat -- 10 minutes in and 10 minutes oxidizing. We got through all the projects in the 3 hour time period. We used up 360 grams of natural indigo, 160 grams of thioureadioxide, and 160 grams of soda ash. And we dyed 50 fat quarters and 9 silk scarves during the workshop, plus 1 kg. of mohair yarn and 1 lb. of mohair locks, after everyone left.

Everyone learned some botany, history and culture of natural indigo, and had a browse through the indigo and shibori books in the Joybilee Farm library.

We finished in time to clean up, have lunch and get ready for shearing. Ian and Miranda, his lovely wife, arrived at 3pm to begin shearing the angora goats and got 13 done before dark. Yep, it was a busy day.