Our first workshop for 2017 was led by Leanne O’Sullivan of Kimono House. Leanne has extensive experience in using indigo dye and with shibori techniques and shared three processes with an enthusiastic group of 11 ladies and one gentleman.
Kimono House is located in the Nicholas Building, Swanston Street Melbourne. The current exhibition My Blue Heaven is from Leanne’s personal collection of indigo textiles and continues until April 22.
Shibori involves resist dying, using stitching, wrapping, knotting and clamping. Careful preparation is the key to a successful result, although we learned that it is an organic process so the unexpected may happen.
The dying process began with the careful mixing of the indigo and chemicals in buckets of water. As the dye reacts to both fibre and oxygen it was important to work slowly and avoid bubbles. The mix was left to brew all morning, by afternoon the indigo flower on the surface indicated that the dye vat was ready.
The pieces came out green at first then, as they were exposed to the air, the deep indigo colour appeared. The clamped pieces were carefully unwrapped to reveal symmetrical patterns. The stitched pieces were allowed to dry and then painstakingly unpicked to reveal the delicate lines.
By packup time everyone had completed three pieces of gorgeous indigo in cotton and silk. It is easy to see that we are very pleased with our work and appreciate the time and energy given to the class by our teacher Leanne.
Workshops are an important part of the Waverley Patchworker’s year, you can find a listing of the full program under the Workshops Tab at the top of the page. Details of the next workshop, Bag Making with Leesa Chandler are in your member Newsletter.