Category Archives: MY PROCESS

PILLOWCASE PROCESS

April 10, 2015

 

Here are some photos from the process of making the tiny burst pillowcase. This process is so meditative… pinch, apply rubber band, pinch, apply rubber band, pinch…

NOW IN THE SHOP

 

TINY RESISTS, BEFORE THE INDIGO DYE

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FRESH FROM THE VAT (STILL OXIDIZING)

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COMPLETE!

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VINTAGE SHIBORI TOOLS

March 30, 2015

 

I just received a vintage Shibori tool kit and I am so excited to figure it out. The kit contains a plastic shuttle, table mounting bracket, crook-needle, threaded-needle, and a wooden dowel.

 

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The threaded-needle is the coolest tool I have ever seen. You melt the beeswax to move the (insanely sharp) needle to your preferred length. It also screws into the mounting bracket so that you can stabilize your fabric on it.

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A LEARNING PROCESS

March 16, 2015

 

Indigo dyeing is a continuous learning process. Here are some helpful tips I would like to pass along:

 1). GLOVES MATTER: If you are going to wear gloves during dyeing (some people don’t). I would recommend well-fitting dishwashing gloves (check the size). I used thin latex gloves my first time dyeing and have never used them again. A lot of dye snuck in though the top, and by the end of the session my hands were completely dyed. My advice, the higher, the better. Note: Dishwashing gloves can be reused even though they will be stained / just wash them in warm water after use. 

2). PREP YOUR TOOLS: If you are using any dowels or pipes for Arashi shibori, make sure they are clean and dry. Some wooden dowels (especially those that have been stained) can crock color onto your white fabric. I recommend testing them beforehand by soaking them in warm water and rubbing them with a white cloth. Speaking from experience, it is really disappointing to unwrap your cloth to find wood stains. This also applies to previously used rubber bands, clamps, and clothespins, which should always be rinsed and wiped down after use. The Indigo can rub off onto clean fabric if the tools aren’t clean. Note: you can re-use stained rubber bands, just test them first. 

3). TAKE YOUR TIME: It’s so easy to rush through things when you are working. If you take your time you will get better results, I promise. Think about your designs beforehand. If you are making pleats, make sure they are even (maybe even iron each one) and if you are stitching, make sure the stitches are straight. Be patient with the color. If you desire a darker shade, put in the time. You may have to dye your piece several times.

4). GET A TIGHT SEAL: When you practice Itajime shibori, make sure you get a tight seal on your cloth before you submerge your pieces into the Indigo bath. This will prevent the dye from bleeding underneath your blocks.

5). DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP: Learning to dye fabric can be challenging at times. Blotches happen, certain fabric contents don’t absorb dye properly, and sometimes the way you prepared your fabric just doesn’t turn out like you expected. IT’S OK…Each piece is unique. Dyeing should be fun!

6). AFTER THE DYE: I know it’s tempting to throw your creations into the dryer after you rinse them (in cold), but don’t. Always line dry your work to protect it from fading. This will also prevent your dryer from turning a light shade of blue. If you don’t have an outdoor space and hang your pieces in your bathroom, make sure to protect the floor from any drips.

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 HAPPY DYEING!

MAGICAL INDIGO

March 7, 2015

 

Have you ever wondered why the pieces you pull from the dye vat are pale green and then magically turn blue? It’s due to the oxygenation of the dye. Wild Colours (the best resource ever) explains the process here, “When you expose the fibre to oxygen in the air you will see it gradually change colour from pale yellow to green and then finally to blue, as the indigo dye reverts to its insoluble blue form. Seeing the colour develop in the air must have looked like magic to many early cultures, and this change in colour can easily get you hooked on dyeing blues.”

This is one of the reasons I got hooked on Indigo, as it is truly magical to watch.

 

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DYEING IN CALIFORNIA

February 13, 2015

I have been spending some time in California and I couldn’t be happier to be able to dye in the sunshine (yesterday it was 70 degrees…i know, I’m sorry New York friends). Here are some images of this week’s dyeing process. I tried to focus on Arashi Shibori (a pole wrapping technique) and I love the results. Finding a bucket that was deep enough wasn’t an option, so I had to do a lot of timing and rotating the dowels to get an even dye.

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ALL IMAGES © H & FIELD, 2015

TOOLS & PROCESS

December 13, 2014

This week I am experimenting with shapes and compression tools. I still love using rubber bands, but I decided that these $0.99 clamps are essential. The whole idea is to prevent the Indigo from penetrating the fabric. In turn, the white patterns in your piece will reflect whatever shape of wood you are using (or clamp, plastic, etc.).

Before:

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After:

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DESERT DYEING

December 7, 2014

I spent last week in the Chihuahuan Desert (far west Texas), which ended up being an ideal backdrop for this new batch of textiles. I’m so happy with how the color pops off the desert floor.

I am still working on posting everything, but some are now available in the shop.

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ALL IMAGES © H & FIELD, 2015

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