Saturday, February 21, 2015

Fabric dying with indigo......

Some of you had questions about the wash- and light fastness of the dyed yarns in my last post. In Jenny Dean's book i found that mordanting yarn and fabric before dyeing will improve the light- and wash fastness. There are some plants , like rhubarb roots, that will dye without mordanting but then the light fastness will be much weaker.

Some information about indigo from Dean's book.
Indigo is the only natural source of true blues. It gives light- and wash fast shades, ranging from pale sky-blue to deep navy and is the most successful dye ever known. Indigo is a vat dye and requires no mordant.
For indigo dyeing to be successful, the dye solution must be sufficiently alkaline to dissolve the blue-producing dye matter.
Oxygen must also be removed from the vat to convert this indigo blue into so-called indigo yellow/green because indigo will only fix permanently to the fiber in this state. When the fibers are removed from the vat, oxygen in the air converts the yellow/green back into indigo blue, which is now permanently fixed to the fibers. (this is the most magic moment of indigo dyeing)
There are several ways to make an indigo vat, you can use an chemical product as reducing agent to remove the oxygen from the vat.
You also can use a fermentation vat with fructose as reducing agent.
An ancient way of using an indigo vat was using urine ( 2 to 3 weeks old!) which contains ammonia and also bacteria for removing the oxygen.

I used spectralite as a reducing agent and indigo crystals, which were very easy to dissolve in water, which I bought here.
I stitched some shibori patterns in linen shawls.

And i made two bags. The front:

The back.

The other one, the front.

The back.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Yarn dyeing with plants and the retro sampler

After my experience with dyeing with madder i wanted more....... I already told you that in the sixties I dyed yarn with plants, I remember that mostly  pale yellow colors were the result, they also faded quickly.
 I bought Jenny Dean's book 'Colors from Nature. A dyer's handbook'. A book with detailed information about mordanting, different modifiers and lots of recipes. And another book in French: 'Michel Garcia, Couleurs végétales, teintures, pigments et encres'.

A bought 4 hanks of undyed yarn at Renaissance Dyeing,  devided them in small hanksof about 20 gram.  I only needed small hanks with different colors because i wanted to knit the Retro Sampler with it.
Then the yarn was mordanted , following Michel Garcia recipe with 15% alum et 7% cream de tartre.
I died with madderroot, cutch, rhubarb root, chamomile, sorghum extract, hibiscus flowers, neprun.
some hanks where overdyed with indigo.
And here they are......

Arent' they beautiful ?

This was my first indigo vat and i also dyed some scarfs  but those pictures are for another post....

I started the retro sampler and as usual i changed some patterns, pattern 3 and 5 are mine.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

My craftclub in Sarzay

On the first and the third saturday each month , we meet in the small hall next to the municipal hal. Normally we are 12 woman.
 In France almost every village has a festive hall , where take place al the meals that are organized in the village.
Sarzay is a beautiful small village about 20 km from where i live.
Yesterday I gave an applique workshop, this was already the third applique meeting.
There are 8 of the members who join the workshop, the others continue knitting , crocheting and talking......
We are making an owl wallhanging , made by one of my friends.

We worked with freezerpaper and all the small pieces were cut .

Yesterday almost all the pieces were appliqued.

You can find more information about our club here and here.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Back to normal?

IS it possible to go back to normal after the 7th of january?
I was in Paris a week after the murders , the banners and flags were still hanging at the statue on the Place de la Republique. Everywhere were flyers with 'je suis charlie'.
In the metro i was looking at people while thinking : are you Charlie or are you not Charlie.....
I heard on the radio that teachers have l problems to talk to children who said: 8 murders was not necessary but Charb needed to be killed because he insulted Mahomed.....
I think we have to live with these problems.....

I'll show you a logcabin quilt which i made last winter and finished quilting these days.
I used old and new Dutch traditional costume fabric from MarKen, Staphorst, Scheveningen ,Bunschoten, Spakenburg and Zeeland. The quilt is for Thom, he choose the blues and because I also had lots of reds, i used reds with blues to make a nice border.

I quilted a pencil ,  I saw the idea on the blog 'Crayon and Pencil', she wrote:

For the unspeakable and to remember
Let our needles go
Reaction to what happened these last days, against obscurantism of any form
But also for girls to go to school everywhere in the world.....
Let us sew, embroider, quilt a pencil on each work this year.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Friday, December 26, 2014

Shibori and fabric dyeing with madder

I am so fascinated by the Shibori technique that I wanted to try some more patterns.
I dyed the fabric pieces in madder/meekrap/garance. But before you can start dyeing there is a long way to go.....
First you need to clean the fabric, even used and washed fabric need to be cleaned . The fabric should be boiled in a solution of washing soda and a bit of dishwashing liquid.
The water will become brown/orange, an unbelievable dirty color!
Then the fabric need to be mordanted, to help the dye to become permanently fixed to the fibres.
For cellulose/vegetable fibres you need an other way of mordanting than for animal fibres.
I did three mordanting bath, the first with 20% of alum and 6% of soda ash. The second bath with 8 % of tannin and the third bath again in the alum solution. Between the bath the fabric need to dry and wash just before a new bath.
The color you get depends on a lot of things, the ph of your water, the amount of color you use, if you use cotton or linen or hemp, light weight or medium light weight ........
I dyed two linen scarf and some pieces for cushions or bags.

Here in France Christmas is over , we only know the first day of Christmas but I wish my Dutch readers a peaceful and 'gezellig' second day of Christmas. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

the Christmas market and some chocolates

I had a very successful market last sunday. We together sold for 1000 euro, most things were sold below 10 euro...... Tthe indigo tote that I showed you in my last post was sold five minutes after we opened the door. I also sold Jacobus and Karel.
We don't have separate stalls but everything is on large tables.

The beautiful painting of the castle at the wall is the view outside.........

Last week we also made our traditional Christmas chocolates at Lucy's house. She prepared the recipes and guided us to the delicious  result. 

To be honest....these were made by the chef herself.
Our work was not perfect at all and there was chocolate and marzipan on the floor and all over the table.

These were made by us! But we had lots of fun.

When we were ready Lucy's kitchen, looked like a battle field......