See fantastic creations by indigo dyeing and shibori students from last weekend

Photo: Sample of shibori patterns. All photos by Nicola Parisi @nicola_parisi
Spring time means shibori time. Last Saturday was a little chilly but that didn’t stop our beautiful day of indigo dyeing and shibori. There were a bunch of us, some hailing from as far as Seattle, others drove 5 hours from the foothills of Tahoe, but most were from the Bay Area. One mother and daughter pair did this experience together for Mother’s day. So sweet! We were fortunate enough to have the photographic talents of Nicola Parisi with us throughout the day. She captured everyone’s excitement in learning this dyeing technique.
Wondering what shibori is and how the designs are made? Check out the blog post.
Photo: The blue green murky depths of an indigo vat
I’m teaching with Michel Garcia’s 1 - 2 - 3 method with organic indigo, fructose and pickling lime. I love the depth of blue, the fact that there are no toxins and the ease of disposal at the end of the day.
What also excites me is seeing people’s shock and wonder when they see the first dip of fabric going into the vat green and oxidizing to blue. Plus, It feels good to have a creative day knowing that you’re working with quality, natural ingredients.
I believe in upcycling as much as we can. I'm happy that people brought old velvet pillow cases that needed a refresh, t shirts, napkins and table runners. 
Shibori tools can be very simple.
Photo: Simple tools like chopsticks are reuseable and recycleable.
I also like to use simple tools you can get from the hardware store. I encourage everyone to use wood sticks, rubber bands etc instead of metal clips that can eventually rust and create waste. These tools are so beautiful after they’ve been used over and over again. Everyone worked really hard bundling, folding, tying and pleating their pieces, prepping for the vat.
Denise hangs her beautiful shibori scarves to oxidize
Photo: Hanging silk scarves out to oxidize.
One person brought some original tools she found around her studio and kitchen (!) to create cool patterns on silk scarves. Another student made a huge wall hanging out of a curtain. Everyone’s work turned out beautifully. Each student received their own indigo kit to take home. I hope they continue with learning more shibori and indigo dyeing.  
Jenny Fong of Modern Shibori surrounded by indigo
Photo: Me, Jenny Fong, surrounded by indigo.
And here I am, surrounded by indigo, one of my happy places. Thanks to Nicola for thinking of this shot.
Do you have an old garment you're hanging on to but would like to give it new life? Let me know in the comments below. I’m always curious to know what people want to upcycle. I’m sure there’s a dress in the depths of my closet somewhere that I haven’t dyed yet. Maybe I’ll look this weekend. 
If you’re interested in taking a workshop, make sure to sign up for my newsletter. VIPers get first dibs on workshop spots. The next workshops are June 24th, Sunday, August 12th, Sunday and Sept 9th, Sunday. Grab your spot! 10 students maximum.
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  • What a fun class! I didn’t know anything about Shibori before I showed up, and had a great time. I liked the introduction and display of different techniques. Thanks for the ideas (creatively challenged), and also for the help when things weren’t going well with the tools. I love my repurposed dish towels, and definitely will think about coming again with some colored items!

    Mimi on
  • So great! I couldn’t be happier about how my first Shibori projects turned out and it was such a nice relaxing experience with neat people.

    Evie on
  • Thanks so much for such a wonderful workshop . I think you did an amazing job teaching technique and it showed at the end of the day with all of the inspirational pieces that were a result of
    everyone’s work. My only wish is that it could have lasted longer. I highly recommend this workshop! Wearing indigo pride.

    Denise on
  • Hey Carolyn,
    You can definitely bring that cashmere sweater to the next workshop. It would dye beautifully. That reminds me, I have some cashmere Ts somewhere. I should rummage around and find them!

    Jenny on
  • Hello, Jenny,
    A friend gave me a cashmere sweater that she could no longer use due to coffee stains.
    Could I use that fiber to do your dyeing technique. Would love to sign up for your September 9 workshop.
    Thank you.

    Carolyn on
  • Hey Romy
    It was so great to meet you and see your beautiful garments. I have some more great shots of your yarns and very blue hands. I’ll post them soon.

    Jenny on
  • I feel so lucky to have taken this class! Dyeing my hand-sewn garments into beautiful shades and depths of blue felt like watching magic happen before your eyes. Eschewing the offer of gloves in class, I wore my dyed-blue hands with pride for the next few days and found it a great way to meet fellow dyers around town. I recommend this highly!

    Romy on

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