Saturday, December 31, 2022

Indigo Dye

Included in my travels in Thailand was a trip to a cottage industry where they dyed fabric with natural indigo. They actually grew the indigo and processed it into the dye. The dye was mixed with water and possibly some setting agent -- I don't recall that any was mentioned.  

The next process was printing with hot wax using carved wooden block prints. The wax is melted and kept hot in vats over a wood fire. We chose a block print from the pile on the table, dipped it in the hot wax, and stamped the white fabric.

After the wax was stamped onto the white cloth it was dipped into a vat of indigo dye several times. It was then rinsed and hung to dry. Here is a photo of some recently printed fabric hanging out to dry.

Below is a photo of my fabric after drying but still with the dark stamped wax design adhered to the cloth. When I returned home, I placed the cloth in between a couple brown paper bags and ironed it with a hot iron until the wax melted into the paper. The second photo shows the printing after removing all the wax. 

 I'm really pleased with how it turned out.  Maybe I will frame it and hang it as a reminder of my trip to Thailand. And, of course, I bought one of their printed tops. It will be perfect for wearing next summer.

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