Monday, February 4, 2008

Itajime dyeing

I’ve been asked by a couple of people what I meant by “three tones of Navy” in my last post and for some details on how the dye was applied to the itajime piece. I had some trouble photographing the process in a way that showed anything because the dye is so dark and the clamping system obscures how the dye is taking to the fabric, so I’m gonna use diagrams instead.
With this project I was aiming to dye the fabric an indigo blue so very little white was left. Procion dyes are fairly strong and I wanted the design to be as dynamic as possible even though I was only using one color. Using a single color in such a heavy application would most likely come out looking something like this: large blocks of color with very little fluctuation of tone, not very interesting…
So I opted to use the Navy color in three strengths.
I started with 3c of a dark navy solution ( 20gm>1c),then I took 1c of that and added 1c of water to create a half tone(10gm>1c),
then 1c of the half tone and added 1c water to create a quarter tone (5gm>1c);
Once I had the three tones of dye I dipped areas of the folded fabric into them
2 corners into the lightest
1 corner into the mid
then I went back over the areas I had dyed with the light tones and applied the darkest color with a sponge brush on top or overlapping (here all three edges of the triangle)
The difference in the fabric's wetness and the way the lighter colors dilute the darker dye helps to create a more dynamic pattern