Saturday 17th June saw our usual “Guild Day” enhanced by the inclusion of an Indigo Dyeing Workshop run by the wonderful Cia Bosanquet. Setting up was exciting as it looked complicated and technical although just about all of us had seen Cia’s work before so were very keen to learn. There was a positive “buzz” in the air, especially when the workshop folders appeared on the tables!!
After talking us through the contents of our kit we began designing and preparing the materials for dyeing. I hadn’t realised just how tough this was on your hands as it all needed tying very tightly – but it was worth it as you will see! We were eventually set to soak our items before they entered the dye. Totally exciting stuff!
Learning about the Indigo itself was intriguing and should you want to learn more please have a look at this link “Indigo”. It was most fascinating to watch our work disappearing into the vat…and watching it turn green! Not at all what was expected! Cia explained that the blue colour appeared when the material was exposed to the air and it oxidised. Cia had clearly spent such a long time setting everything up for us…including swatches of fabrics, different yarns and tiny labels to identify our work from others. I watched others binding materials with tiles and pieces of wood. I chose a corrugated tube to bind my piece of silk to – it was simply too hard to imagine what the end results were going to be like!
Sure enough, once out of the vat and on the towels outside (it was a stunning day!) the materials turned the most glorious shade of blue! Some went back in for another “dip” after 10 minutes to increase the intensity. Looking closely at the images above you can see what a “hodge podge” of things we used!
It was pretty challenging getting the tightly tied string, stitches and raffia off our creations but it was so worth it! There were lots of “ooohs” and “aahhhs” as some delightful fabric emerged; clever patterns developed from the tiles used; weirdly beautiful swirls from the tubes and ropes! I can safely say that everyone was delighted with the products! Wow!!!! Simply Wow!!!
Durham Guild would very much like to thank Cia for working so hard on our behalf, and for making the day so wonderful.
There is little nicer than good company, good conversation and working with your hands. Our group is growing (four new members signed up on Saturday) and is such a lovely bunch of crafty people. The Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers are not at all elitist – some people think you have to be highly skilled just to come along but there is nothing further from the truth…..this is the place to learn, to be encouraged and to share talents and skills. A more welcoming group of people I have yet to find. So, if you would like to learn more and help us promote these traditional skills…and have a lot of fun too then do please come along.