Several friends and I got together this past weekend to enjoy a beautiful, warm spring day and eating, drinking, laughing—and dyeing fabric by hand!
|Our dyeing party started with these colors.
Ranging in age from 13 to 70-something, our band of seven women—most of whom had never tried textile dyeing before—dyed silk and rayon scarves and other textiles using several techniques including shibori, low-water immersion, and ice parfait dyeing.
I began the day by showing my friends several articles from Quilting Arts Magazine—like April Sproule's "Amazing Arashi Shibori" from the April/May issue—and Ann Johnston's fabulous book on low-water immersion dyeing, "Color by Accident," to get them in the spirit of things. We had no accidents and the results of our "work" were nothing short of amazing! It was truly something for any skill level.
|Marianne removes the string after shibori dyeing her scarf. In the background, Isabella inspects her scarf.
The idea to host this dyeing party was planted when Quilting Arts Magazine Editor Vivika DeNegre and I led one for our office staff two months ago—we were eager to test a method called ice parfait dyeing that Carol Ludington was writing about for our June/July issue of the magazine. Many of you have watched our progress and commented on Facebook. Check out Carol's excellent article and the unbelievably beautiful fabric she hand-dyed with this technique. By the way, our next reader challenge will involve some of the fabric we hand-dyed that day—check it out.
Vivika encouraged me to plan and host my own fabric dyeing party and write about it—see the August/September issue for my complete article.
The whole experience was a blast! There was a lot of planning and organization, I must admit—plus, I made them lunch and snacks—but it was all worth it! And now I have many of the supplies needed to safely dye more fabric. In fact, my daughter, who could not be there, is eager to try some dyeing so we'll gather a new group of friends to join us in the next few days.
This scarf was dyed with
PHOTOS BY ART ILLMAN
What kind of fun and creative projects will you do with your friends this spring and summer?