Its been 4 years since I did any indigo dyeing and without an outside drain in the garden at our new house , I wasn't sure when I'd get the opportunity to do it again. So when Glenys from CQ Kent group offered to host an indigo session at her house in Deal while her husband was away for a week, I invited myself to stay for a night so we could have 2 days playing and invited other group members to join us!
Glenys met me at the station on the first day and we spent the morning setting up the vats ( with some recalculations required as the markings on the measuring jug weren't easy to read and I made up my large blue vessel with too weak a solution!) . Glenys's facilities are excellent - a large garage with sinks with hot and cold water and a large gravelled area for setting up drying racks.
After lunch, Jan, Barbara and Stella arrived and were soon busy in the sun preparing samples. It all got rather exciting as we put items into warm water to soak and then dunked them carefully in the vats ( poles in the large blue vessel, smaller items in the bucket.) It was lovely to introduce indigo novices to the magic of seeing fabrics turn from yellow to green to blue as they oxidised. It's a quick process compared to procion dyeing so we soon had rackfuls of beautiful cloth to admire.
With a break for afternoon tea and cake in the shade of a large tree ( it was very hot) we continued dyeing until about 5 when were exhausted and J, B and S went home with their treasures to rinse and wash. After covering over the vats with cling film and getting cleaned up , Glenys and I went down to the shore to the Royal Hotel for a well deserved dinner and glass of wine.
Parcels waiting to oxidise.
Clearing and packing up took a while and then Glenys took me and the kit home and as it was raining (!) I set up my wet items on the balcony airer in my garage ( no sinks here, it doesn't even have any light) which left nice marks on the concrete! The following day I set up the airer in the garden to dry properly .
On Monday the grand rinsing and washing session began! We might not have an outside drain but we do have a tap and I set up the 'painting easel chairs' with large trugs for rinsing , the water going on the garden afterwards. Rinsing in cold water is usually my least preferred part of the process but it was surprisingly enjoyable given the heat!
I'll share my favourites in another post but I was generally very happy with the results and thanks to Glenys we had a very enjoyable and productive session.