Hey, it’s a scarf!

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The elusive scarf has finally surfaced. Two scarves, actually…and fabric samples. And although they are not really scarves I can wear, they are scarves all the same. You can’t have EVERYTHING, Greedy McGreedersons!

I finished up the shibori dye class at the Eliot School and it was pretty great. If the pictures in this post look like adult tie dye, it’s because it’s pretty much adult tie dye. If you’re really skilled at shibori techiques, then it is shibori. If you’re like me and lacking in those skills at the moment, then you just tie a crap-load of rubber bands around things, throw it into the dye pot, and hope for the best. Then you post pictures pretending like you know what you’re doing.

I LOVED the process of dyeing the fabric. When I start dyeing at home, I’ll post the detailed process with pictures, but the short process is:

1) Weigh your pre-washed fabric.

2) Calculate how much mordant you need to mordant the fabric. Mordant helps fabric take and hold the dye.

3) Heat your water and add in your mordant and fabric.

4) Take the fabric out, rinse, and dry the fabric (I don’t think you always have to dry the fabric but I have to double check that again).

5) Calculate how much dye you need for your fabric.

6) Heat your water and add in the dye.

7) Keep your fabric in the dye for the recommended time. You can also take the fabric out earlier or later to get a lighter or darker color. Rinse out the excess dye and dry the fabric.

Here are some pics and some of the techniques we learned. Ignore the dirty windows. These are a mix of cotton and silk samples.

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The scarf above, on the left isn’t my favorite. This was the only dye pot where the dye was already in liquid form and I didn’t like it. The fabric didn’t hold it very well and I just thought the other dye pots had a richer color. The fabric sample on the right was one of my favorite dye pots – logwood. Such a great color. I think this fabric was just folded into squares and clamped with a clothespin.

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These two samples above are from the madder dye pot. I love this color too – especially for the spring. The left sample had a marble in the middle with a rubber band around it and the edges were also rubber banded. The sample on the right I actually used a shibori technique called mokume, where you sew lines of thread throughout the fabric and pull them tight. They are supposed to look like wood grain. Mine weren’t pulled quite tight enough but I still like it.

More logwood! The sample on the left involved more marbles and rubber bands. The scarf on the right was folded into triangles and clamped with a clothespin.

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These are the natural dye starter kits that I bought for dyeing at home. I bought them from Maiwa. Can’t wait to try them out.

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I couldn’t resist getting the indigo starter kit too. I love the dark color. Winter scarf? Indigo clutch? The possibilities are endless, as is the dust that is collecting on top of these kits. Sigh. More updates to follow. I KNOW YOU CAN’T WAIT.

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