Dye Experiments with Raven Black Dye

Studying Anna Joyce's book, Hand Dyed: A Modern Guide to Dyeing in Brilliant Color for You and Your Home, inspired me to look up books on shibori, a Japanese version of tie-dye. The book I found, Shibori: Creating Color and Texture On Silk by Karren K. Brito, shows beautiful work,  and it's quite complex [I am required to say these are ad links]. Some of the techniques will work on cotton, and I've gleaned a useful trick from it: pole dyeing, or in this case, tube dyeing. I'm using Raven Black from Dharma Trading today, which from making my art quilt "Don't Look Behind You,"I know can be a lovely shade of midnight blue as well as black. This week's planned experiments are more ice dyeing (I wonder what happens if the ice shapes are different? Mine are crescent-shaped); tube dyeing; crumpled, with tube undyeing with deColourant; and more tie-dyeing with thread, one with marbles. But I loved the color so much I kept going with tied and staining;  bundled sticks; and clothespin resist.

Soaked most of the cloth in the soda ash mixture starting at 7:40am for a little over an hour this time. I began the ice-dyeing first because I knew it would take 3-4 hours.

Then, we just happened to have a piece of 4" wide plastic pipe around. So ahead of time I sewed a sleeve that fits tightly over it. Took it off the tube for a soda ash soak, then back on and scrunched up. Poured dye over it until I felt satisfied that it was saturated and let it rest.


Tied thread around marbles.

Dye bath was still soaking at 11:31am.
Ice-dye in progress.

Removed the tube-dyed cloth around 1:40pm.
Wrapped cloth around the tube.

Poured dyed on part of it to stain it and see how it might creep.

Ice-dye on the line. The colors don't show up completely until it is dry and ironed.

Removed the dark, tub-dyed cloth around 2:30pm.
Ice-dye, stained cloth (that was wrapped around tube), and the tube-dyed cloth.
The stained one reminds me a little of Helen Frankenthaler, a little Mark Rothko.

Bundling with sticks.

DeColourant on the dry, new sleeve from dark, scrunched up dyed cloth.
9:15am Day 2.

Dried it with the hairdryer, then ironed it out.

A second stick bundle on the line, Day 2.
I reused yesterday's sticks, so I think some of the dye left on the sticks showed up in the reddish patches.

Clothespin resist in the vat/tub, Day 2.

L to R
Scrunched tub dye; stained around the tube; ice-dye; stick bundle 1; pole dye; pole dye with deColourant; tie-dye with marbles; second bundled sticks
2:02pm, ironed and folded.

Closeup of the tie-dyed marble "bubbles" or "jellies."

Closeup of the ice-dyed cloth. A little floral, a little Judy Chicago.

Clothespin resist on the line. The last of the raven black, Day 2.

Because it is so versatile and contains so many colors in itself, f I only had one dye to on a desert island, it would be Raven Black.

Coincidentally, I met this Shibori kitty on my walk.