Color at Fiber In the Forest

As promised here are some pictures of the various fibers we dyed at the Color 3 ways workshop.  These are group efforts, except for the skeins.  We did roving, skeins, locks and silk hankies (no you don’t use them with your nose). Beautiful colors and fun times.  Enjoy!

Still to come – fabric dyeing and the big reveal of the eco scarf.

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Fiber In The Forest

Just back from my first Fiber In the Forest workshop, hosted by the Eugene Textile Center.  It was great fun and I met some super great ladies!  All were very talented and willing to share their knowledge, most were involved in some aspect of fiber.  A great experience for me and I made some new fiber friends.

I took a workshop called Color Camp – 3 ways to dye with Janis Thompson.  It was great fun. Since I am a natural dyer –  my favorite was the Eco Scarf day.  The sad part is I can’t reveal my scarves until Wednesday – but here is a picture of what our scarves looked like after coming out of the steam bath.   I plan to overdye mine with Indigo – so I will show the before and then post later after they have cured and dried. IMG_20150515_125425753

More tomorrow with colorful pictures of some of our results using acid dyes and cellulose MX dyes.

Thanks to Suzie Liles, Eugene Textile Center for hosting this great time at Camp Myrtlewood, a beautiful Oregon location.  Check out their website for more information about classes and workshops.

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Dyed In The Woods

I have decided to try and sell my scarves on Etsy.  The name of my shop is Dyed In The Woods.   Had lots of fun deciding on a name and it has continued to be fun with all of the word plays on the dyeing part.    Besides the scarves I have coaster sets that are made from fabric that is printed with my stencils. ditw_coaster-0107

I hope you will take a few minutes and check out the Etsy site:

Ronda Lehman at Lucky Dog Design did a great job on my logo and I had business cards made at   Here is a picture of the logo.DyedintheWoods_Logo1



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Renewed and Refreshed

After a long absence – almost year since my last post – I am back and ready to explore and try out some new things.

Last summer I moved to Seaside, OR to try coastal living.  While living there I developed some health issues which caught me off guard.  After figuring out what was going on I have embraced a new lifestyle including exercise and eating healthy.  I went to China in the Fall and spent a few months with my husband, then on return to Oregon I decided to move into town.  I love living in Salem and I’m finally settled in and starting to make plans.

I did quite a bit of dyeing last Spring and here are some of the results. I have decided to set up an Etsy shop and will be selling some of them there.  These are all handwoven, hand dyed scarves using natural Indigo, Cochineal, Madder and Cutch.  Most are cotton but I also did a few linen.  More about the Etsy shop tomorrow.

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Happy Lunar New Year!

My husband is home from China for two weeks.  The Lunar New Year began January 31, 2014.  Most people in China get the week off from work and travel home to spend time with family.  When we lived in Shanghai, we were  given gifts from various people, the owners of our apartment building, Arts Chinese employer and random people we had done business with.  Art always took gifts to people that we did business with as well — the lady who did his laundry and repaired his clothing, our ayi and others who were special to us.  One year, the owner of our apartment building gave us a beautiful set of New Year couplets to hang on our door.  It is tradition to hang the middle section upside down to confuse the evil spirits or bad luck.  I ended up having to write on the back so I could remember what order to hang them. They moved with us from Shanghai to Haiyang and hung at each of our apartments.  It was so nice to hang them up this year at our own house in Oregon.  We made dumplings and had a traditional New Years meal that included Soy Sauce Chicken, Roast Pork Belly, Walnut Shrimp, Pork stuff Tofu with black bean sauce,  dry fried green beans, garlic eggplant and vegetable lo mein.  Those cooking classes I took Shanghai combined with my mother-in-laws recipes paid off.

New Year Couplets

Lunar New Year of the Horse

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Wuzhen and Indigo

We also visited Wuzhen, a 1300-year-old water town on the lower reaches of the Yangtze River.  Its a beautiful place and a short drive from Shanghai.  Here are some pictures of the demonstration area for the Chinese process of stencil printing.  For more information click on “Lanyinhua” in the area just below the banner.

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Bai Minority Village and Indigo

In 2009 we visited Yunnan Province and went to  Zhoucheng Village, where the Bai Ethnic people still practice the Chinese Tie dye technique.   I purchased several meters of this fabric and made a quilt for a family member.

Wedding gift, using indigo fabric from Bai Village in Yunnan Province, China

Wedding gift, using indigo fabric from Bai Village in Yunnan Province, China


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Here are pictures of the village and an article I found at that explains the technique.  The article says they use woad leaves, but I am confident that we were told it is Indigo.

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Tie-dyeing 扎染 is an old Chinese textile dyeing technique. Nowadays this traditional technique is still popular in Zhoucheng Village, Dali City in Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture and some places in Weishan Yi and Hui autonomous county. The Zhoucheng, Bai Nationality tie-dyeing technique is the most famous and the area was named ‘the Land for National Tie-dye’ by the Culture Administration.

The tie-dyed materials are usually are white cotton cloth or a blended fabric of cotton and flax, and the dye is mainly made from indigo plants. The main tools used are jars and sticks. There are many kinds of Bai tie-dyed items, using natural patterns with lucky meanings. The finished products are aesthetically valuable and pleasing to consumers both at home and abroad. Dali Bai tie-dye shows strong folk art styles and Bai customs and taste.

The concept behind tie-dyeing is to restrict the dye from reaching certain areas of the cloth, this is achieved through the use of knots, threads, rocks, sticks and rubber bands. The color of the parts the dye reaches changes but the restricted parts stay untouched, giving a pleasant color contrast.

This method appeared in the 3rd to 4th century in China and is still used today. Bright colors, an unlimited variety of patterns and color combinations, and the simplicity of the techniques contribute to its enduring appeal.

Tie-dyeing is a time-honored handicraft of the Bai ethnic group, who mainly inhabit southwest China’s Yunnan Province. To make the dye, woad leaves are collected and fermented in a pit until they are indigo in color. White cloth is tied and sewn into various patterns by hand and then dyed. After the cloth is dried and rinsed, designs of bees, butterflies, plum blossoms, fish, or insects appear with an artistic effect that cannot be achieved by painting.

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