four days in indigo heaven
By Patricia Belyea
SEATTLE WA I just emerged from the blue world of a four-day intensive indigo dyeing workshop, led by Kathy Hattori of Botanical Colors. Eight of us gathered from different corners of North America to make indigo brews in Magnuson Park in Seattle.
Each participant had a different focus. A knitter from Ontario brought botanically dyed wools to over-dye. A tapestry weaver from Seattle brought fine threads to dye a full spectrum of blue. A clothing designer from California hauled a big suitcase of clothing and vintage laces to transform in the indigo vats. I arrived with an armload of patterned Japanese yukata cottons to dip.
Kathy taught us how to produce seven different stock solutions with indigos from around the world. From there we made and balanced dyeing vats before dipping non-stop in the yellowish-green solutions with a shiny scum on top.
I have visions of three large indigo quilts made from narrow slices of my new wonderful blue fabrics. Once I finish up a couple of projects, it’s full speed ahead!