A blue world

A few weeks ago I decided to buy a workshop Dyeing with natural indigo at Blueprint Studio here in Amsterdam. It is not that I am totally recovered, but I felt the need to treat myself to this. 
And despite my hernia and other physical problems I wanted to do something with my 'textile-addiction'.

It was a saturday afternoon.
The 9th of May.
Windy and rather fresh outside.
Three women and one man got together in the little studio from Celia and her assistant Iris.

Indigo dyeing and Shiboru was on the menu.
A table full of beautiful examples.

On the wall was an old male kimono hanging. 

Patched with different fabrics in the Sashiko technique.
In the same technique was this beautiful old piece of cloth used by the working class. 

Mended over and over again because throwing away wasn't done.
They are hard to find nowadays. They have a special name, but I can't remember it.

On the table: little pieces of cloth dyed in different ways in beautiful patterns.

All very inspirational.
Around us: blue dyed rubber gloves, blue dyed wooden sticks and a suitcase full of textiles.

I could feel all my senses going around in my head.
The muddy smell of indigo.
That dark blue of the indigo powder.
All those different shades. 
A real feast for the eye.
I had arrived in a real blue world, and I loved it.

Indigo. The magical plant which can give that beautiful strong blue color.
After some information about how the dye was made we got to see the inside of that big indigo vat.
In the middle was the 'indigo flower'. The water on which it was floating was a kind of muddy yellow.

There is hardly any oxygene in the water which is the most important issue of the proces.
It is hard to believe that that water would make my t-shirt and scarf blue. 

My plan was to dip dye a white t-shirt from light to dark. 
Not very difficult to do.
First thing to do is wet it thoroughly.
Put it on a hanger and dip it for one minute under in the vat.
Take it out and hang it outside.
It will turn blue when it gets in touch with oxygene.
The more you dip, the darker the blue gets.

Pure magic,and everytime you see it happening it gives that Wow factor.
I ended up with a beautiful variegated t-shirt which I hope to wear the upcoming summers.

And there was also natural scarf to be dyed with the shibori technique.
Shibori is a technique to make patterns by binding, stitching, folding, twisting or compressing cloth. 

In Japan it is a real art done by Masters in the Shibori technique.
On the table was a lovely example which was my starting point.

By folding cloth into diagonals and stitching it, this pattern could be the result.

After everything was stitched the proces of dipping could start.
It was exiting to take out the stitches to see the result. 
It wasn't disappointing.

My new summer scarf appeared.

And, no, I will not wear it this way.
Wrapped around my neck is much better ot maybe as a pareo this summer.

It was all very exiting and inspirational for me.
Celia and Iris are excellent teachers and show great experience with the technique.

In june I will follow a one day workshop Natural dying with the 'Grand Teints' organized by Textielfabrique.


  1. I am not a knitter and I stumbled across your blog some time ago... I enjoyed your writing and your sense of discovery, so I started reading older posts and learned of the sad loss of your husband after many years. Anyhow, today I have rediscovered your blog and am happy to read of your happiness with the new love in your life! The posts from your French holiday in particular capture the small joys and wonders of everyday life. However, most of all I just wanted to say thank you for your lovely blog, I really enjoyed it and I wanted you to know how much pleasure it has brought me. And to wish you lots of happiness for the future :) Catherine


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