Thursday, 3 May 2012

Our First Dips in the Indigo Vat

The sun was shining and it was time for our first dips in the indigo vat.  Bryan had to resuscitate the vat by the front door of the Best Exotic Indigo Hotel.  A balance of water, slaked lime, indigo and deoxidiser.  The expert touch knows what to do.  I likened it to making a batter for a Yorkshire Pudding - how much milk do you add to the flour and egg?  Until it looks and feels right!  No exact measurements. 

 The sulky indigo was soon blossoming.

Bryan had installed a new vat especially for the Tour.  It needed the delicate, expert mixing and it also needed a blessing, cue saki and incense.  This vat was made with purchased indigo.

My first piece of indigo resist dyeing was this piece which I dyed using the "chopstick" method, itajime shibori.  
 Where the chopsticks hold the fabric the dye cannot penetrate and so the cloth stays white.  Some of my sisters refolded their fabric and redyed it to create a squared design, I liked the bamboo (or maybe X-ray) pattern and left well alone!

Cynthia and Nat had fun at the indigo vat.

 Nat and Myra showed off their itajime while Janine was wondering how hers was going to look (and I don't know who the bottom belongs to!).

Our pieces dried in the sunshine on the lines outside the house

and on the convenient hedges and bushes.

After another practice tenugui (hand towel, above) I was very pleased to create this beautiful cotton shawl (centre) which I was delighted with.

PS 1 For more details about the indigo vat please have a look at Bryan's blog: 
or just sit down with a nice cup of tea (green, of course) and start at his first post......

PS 2  I saw the doctor this afternoon and as I explained I'd picked up a little cold in Japan and then my head started to explode during the flight from Tokyo to London she said, "I bet you've got sinusitis".  A few questions and probings later and the diagnosis is confirmed, mega antibiotics prescribed.  I don't feel any less ill than I did but I feel a whole lot better now I know why I feel so wretched!  Thanks for your good wishes, they are appreciated.


  1. Beautiful dyeing results and I love your new header. I hope you start to feel much better soon.

  2. wonderful images of the indigo dyeing. i have been following Bryan's blog as well. i know you will be feeling better soon. take care.

  3. Lis, Such beautiful pieces, a little bit of textile envy going on here. I'm really enjoying reading all about it.

  4. Thanks Lis, what an honoured to have two of my pics in your post! You don't mind if I borrow it please? Still taste sake in my mouth, yum - Hugs Nat

  5. Wow the results from the dyes are fantastic, the shawl will be lovely to wear, a real one of a kind garment!
    I hope the antibiotics kick in really soon for you...
    Hugs and Blessings

  6. That dying can become addictive. Once you make the first piece you begin to think,"what if I did it this way..."? Very nice results. Hope you are much better soon

  7. Wow Liz I have just been going thru all the posts about your holiday....looks like it was amazing! Hope you feel better soon xx


I really appreciate your lovely comments, ideas and opinions, they make my day. Thank you for visiting Piece'n'Peace,
hugs, Lis x