I’ve already told many times that here, in Lithuania, or in neighboring Latvia, there are no quilting fabrics available.
We, quilters, have to find our ways to get fabrics and other supplies. I dye my own fabrics. Usually I use Procion MX dyes. They give bright colors that I like very much.
Couple years ago my Latvian friend Gunta got me interested in dyeing fabrics using local plants, rust, or discharge. Last year I dyed so many fabrics using rust that they will last for my entire life. I only made one quilt using those fabrics so far- Grater from Luksiai Village:
I like working with more colors and I know that indigo blue and rust makes a nice color combination.
Gunta and I decided to have a dying session using indigo and other natural dyes. Two more Latvian ladies joined us and we started our witchcraft session:
There were four of us and we had to speak three languages to communicate.
My friends came to the session better prepared than me. They had some fabrics already tied or wrapped about poles for shibori effect:
I only wanted to have few pieces of different value of indigo blue color fabrics. I knew they would have texture anyway.
The dye was finally ready:
We submerged fabrics and left them in a pot for 5 minutes:
Taking fabrics out we could watch how the color slowly changed from green to indigo blue. This happens when dyes react with oxygen:
We set the fabrics outside for 20 minutes and spread them so the oxygen could better react with the dyes:
The surroundings looked mysterious and very suitable for witchcraft:
This guy was watching us from the other end of the back yard:
We repeated the same process of 5 minutes in the pot and 20 minutes outside three more times for almost all our pieces except few of mine that I wanted to be lighter in value.
Finally my friends unwrapped their pieces and got some astonishing results. These two T-shirts originally were of gray color:
The shawl was yellow before dyeing:
Gunta over-dyed this piece that was originally dyed with procion mx:
Daira over dyed little tidbits of different colors that she wasn’t happy with:
Some pieces that were white before had a very nice texture:
I came back home and washed my fabrics:
Here is the final result:
Later Gunta sent me a photo of her indigo dyed silk and wool fabrics:
Now it’s time to get making something! But I don’t think the witchcraft is over. I’ve seen few more dishes with something brewing inside:
I think my friends are going to have one more session of witchcraft soon. Not me- I’ve dome enough of that. I better dye more fabrics with Procion MX and my next post will tell you about challenges of dyeing fabrics in Lithuania.