Making an indigo vat: Part 2 of 2

Natural Dye Workshop with Michel Garcia and Sustainable Dye Practice

GL, one of our readers wrote to us with questions about her indigo vat. In Part 1, we shared  WSN President and producer of Natural Dye Workshop DVDs,  Yoshiko Wada‘s response. In Part 2, we share the response from renowned woven shibori artist and natural dyer Catherine Ellis.

yoshikocatherine Yoshiko Wada and Catherine Ellis sharing a lighter moment during a natural dye workshop at Arrowmont School.

Dear GL,

Diagnosis of an indigo vat requires observing lots of little details. I usually start my own indigo vats with very hot water, so I am wondering if that is really the problem. I’ll answer this by asking some questions about your vat…

~ How long ago did you make your vat?

~ When did you decide that it was not working?

~ What were your initial ingredients and quantities?

~ How much water did you use?

~ How hot was your…

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Invitation to an evening of celebrating at Kilkenny Arts Festival

Nicola Brown Fine Art Textiles

It’s difficult to keep up with everything online right now. So many exciting things are happening all at once and I’m also busy doing my bit to make sure that the ‘FORM Designmade in Carlow’ pop up shop in Kilkenny is manned and stocked. Please come along on Thursday night to help us celebrate out second year of participation in the Kilkenny Arts Festival, we’ll have drinks and nibbles from 5.30pm and its a great chance to meet fellow makers and group members!

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yellow and green shibori

Obovate Designs™

This is the concluding post of my dye experiment using tansy flowers. See my previous posts: “yellow from my dye pot, and mordant testing on tansy dye bath.”  For this part of the experiment,  I started with two silk scarves that were previously dyed yellow with tansy. These scarves were then over-dyed with indigo, which resulted in a beautiful forest green background. The yellow pattern is a result of using two different Shibori resist techniques (Nui, and Itajime) of folding, creasing, stitching and shaped resist-dyeing before dipping into the indigo vat.

A brief description about the different techniques. Nui Shibori designs are created by hand stitching in a straight, curved, or parallel lines on the fabric; the stitching is then drawn together and secured tightly before it is dyed. The folds and creases of cloth between the gathers form a resist from being dyed. This technique is a little time-consuming, but…

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Happy Birthday Giveaway 3


It’s my turn today to offer a free giveaway to celebrate the blog’s 3rd Birthday. I thought I would giveaway one of my e-books, but I didn’t know how to choose one and it still be fair to those who’ve already bought one or two, so I’ve put 2 or 3 together, and the winner can choose which set they want.

Set A: Beyond Nuno and Wet Felting – A Step by Step Introduction

coverSet B: Making a Wet Felted Vessel using a 3D Resist and Beyond Nuno

vesselSet C: Handmade Felt Book-Cover Project and Polymer Clay: Simply Made

Final Coverand Set D: Polymer Clay: Simply Made; Making a Wet Felted Vessel using a 3D Resist and Wet Felting – A Step by Step Introduction

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJust click the names of the e-books to find out more about them. All you need to do to win is leave a comment on…

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NAÏVE Slow Felt Fashion

2014-04-14 16.10.31-1252014-04-14 16.10.31-280


Mi meta en este viaje a los Altos de Chiapas, aunque creo que los viajes no necesitan metas, era explorar e intentar hacerme una idea, algo ordenada, de las diferencias y similitudes entre tejidos y bordados de un grupo de comunidades indígenas cercanas geográficamente.

Algunas de las pequeñas comunidades a las que fui, no eran muy aficionados a que se les hicieran fotos. Pero, aunque lamento haber perdido oportunidades de fotos magníficas, preferí el respeto. Y puedo atestiguar la tremenda variedad textil entre comunidades vecinas, de una riqueza casi infinita. Y yo diría que las vestimentas tradicionales son utilizadas hoy por más del 90% de la población de esas pequeñas comunidades.

Hay un libro sobre los textiles de comunidades que rodean a San Cristóbal de las Casas, sencillo, con suficiente información y que me gusta:


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