Indigo shibori dyed scarf
Have been following With Autumn for some time, and saw there was an Earth Day offer, and took it as a sign for me to join a workshop :D I’ve not tried dying anything before (apart from my own hair), and I love the colour of indigo, so was pretty excited about it :)
The studio is conveniently located at South Bridge Road - the entrance is from the back alley, so it's quiet and cosy.
Autumn (the founder of the studio and the instructor) spent the first part of the workshop explaining about how indigo dye is created. I love how she has real examples to share (a container of leaves she harvested from the plants just outside the studio, her books with pressed leaves etc.) - can really tell all the love and effort she has put in to document her journey with indigo.
Below is a vat of indigo dye - Autumn showed us how the colour first looks like when it is dipped in, it changes from a shade of yellowish-green to blue after some oxidization in the air:
Showing us various samples of dyed pieces in different styles, how to get different patterns using various shibori techniques:
We get a small piece of cloth to start for a quick practice - to get a feel of how to dye adheres to the cloth, and to experiment with the different tying / pattern-making techniques:
I wanted to try 2 different techniques / styles, so I cut my sample cloth into 2 (really glad I did!):
After that, we started to work on the main piece we were going to dye - a khadi cotton scarf. Hint on what design I incorporated in my piece - one of the styles from my practice pieces, and also the gradient / ombre piece Autumn showed us at the start.
No more photos because I was gloved and getting my hands blue with the dye. Managed to snap a photo right at the end when we were rinsing the piece in water in the sink:
I was really happy with my piece when we unrolled it! Here's a photo of me with the scarf at the back alley just outside Autumn's studio:
I intended for the design at the ends to kinda be like a setting sun / rising moon. But it's not a perfect semi-circle, and so it looks more like a flower or slice of fruit instead haha. Nevertheless, still really special to me!
Here are a few more photos I took of the pieces when I got home:
Details of the workshop
Duration: 3 hours
Price: $189, booked on With Autumn - I got to bring home a dyed test square piece and a dyed khadi cotton scarf. If you're interested, you can bring home a few seeds to try growing your own indigo plant. Autumn also brewed us a lovely cup of tea to drink during the session <3
Level of "fun": 4/5
Making patterns to dye is fun and a bit like math! The way you fold and cover + clamp the cloth determines how the patterns turn out. There are various interesting ways the patterns can be made, including wrapping the cloth around marble. There are some guidelines / suggestions on how to make certain types of patterns, but there's lots of freedom to experiment with pretty much anything :D
Level of difficulty: 2/5
Autumn mentioned that shibori is great for beginners because it is very forgiving - I have to agree. Initially, I was a bit worried about dye getting into spots that I thought I was blocking out to keep white. The beauty of shibori dying is that the designs are quite fluid, and the imperfections still look beautiful.
The steps are pretty simple to follow, and just needs a little bit of imagination and thinking to figure out how to leverage the various techniques to bring a certain type of pattern / design to life :) Autumn was also there to provide support, and I consulted her a few times to check if the logic of my steps to get to my desired design was correct, so that was really helpful