a gift of indigo

A friend from my knitting group, who was moving out-of-town, called me to drop by her house to pick up a gift she had for me. I was surprised when she handed me a bucket of her indigo vat dye, and some of her yarns. I was so touched of her thoughtful and generous gifts. She quilts, spins and dyed her own fabric and yarns for her artwork. She is really talented and I shall miss her.

Here’s the indigo vat dye that I carefully brought it home with me in the car. The bubbles and foam on top is called the “flower” and has to be scoop away before using. The smell is rather strong and I had to wear a mask and gloves before I dipped my fabric inside. Below are pictures of how I used the “gift” to over-dyed a bundle that was pre-steamed with plant materials. Mouse over picture to get a larger view.

foamy indigo bubbles

silk bundle that was pre-steamed with eucalyptus and agonis, before it was dipped into the indigo vat dye.

some of the plant materials and the paper clip are stained blue from indigo.

more to see

peeling to reveal markings from agonis flexuosa (peppermint tree), and eucalyptus

spots of white are a result of the resist from plant material and how the fabric was wrapped 

mirrored image of eucalyptus

take a peek to see

a lovely color

markings from 2 types of eucalyptus

clothes pin are great to keep dyed stings organized

*Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Melinda Tai and Obovate Designs with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Thank you for visiting, I welcome all your comments.

“A smile is worth a thousand words, live happy, dye happiest.”

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16 Responses to a gift of indigo

  1. Terriea says:

    Beautiful blue and red combination.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Marilyn Stephens says:

    Oh! Melinda ❤ this is so stunning, captivating in it's beauty xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Linda St Angelo says:

    Absolutely stunning. I lived in Japan for a year many years ago, Indigo is such a beautiful blue and with the reds of the eucalyptus…. can’t beat it. That is what is so beautiful about eco printing, it is always a surprise. By the way, what a lovely friend.


    • mltai says:

      Yes Linda, friends are nice to have and share alike. I wish someday I can visit Japan and learn the various Shibori techniques. How lovely for you, care to share your experience:)


      • Linda St Angelo says:

        It was a lovely experience. My husband and I made several good friends there, and we go back every few years to visit with them. I had two children in school during our stay there. I wish I had had more time to take classes. They have such lovely artistic pieces every where you turn. We are hoping to return this coming year, as my husband just recently retired. It is a beautiful country and very friendly people. I hope you make it there some day. I know you would love it.
        Actually, it was my stay in Japan where I came across a book on wet felting. It was written in Japanese (which I could not understand), so I just followed the pictures and made my first felted scarf. My mother has it and she says she gets compliments every time she wears it. I still do much felting, but also love the Shibori techniques you can use in dyeing. The reason I love eco printing is that it is earth friendly, using the natural things mother nature gave us.


      • mltai says:

        Hi Linda,
        It would be nice to visit someday to Japan, as the people there are hospitable and friendly. I am impressed about your experiment with wet felting–you are a natural! Btw, you can email me at mlta@melindatai.com anytime you want to chat. Talk to you soon. :):)


  4. Linda St Angelo says:

    Thank you so much for your email. I have made many lovely friends in all the moves I have done over the years and am always looking for a fellow artist friend. Once I get moved & settle down, I will send you photo’s of some of my work. You are also a natural…..eco naturalist….. 🙂 Your work is stunning & I look forward to seeing much more. Have a wonderful week.


  5. merike2013 says:

    Melinda, how beautiful! Would love to see a pic of the whole piece. I did mine the other way around, rolled, dipped, then steamed. Doesn’t seem to make a difference?


    • mltai says:

      Hi Merike, Thanks for your friendship and lovely comment. Indigo is tricky to work with as it tends to stick to fiber instantly. I’ve tried your method and got some blotchy results. I need to find in my stash for this piece to share on you page. Thanks for dropping by, and have a lovely day. 🙂


  6. merike2013 says:

    I forgot to also say: I’m going to Pia’s workshop in July!!!!!!! So excited about that 🙂


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