Indigo Curtains…..dyeing is messy but beautiful!

About a year and half ago (maybe longer) we bought some white curtains from IKEA with the intention of dying them to hang on the large, screened in porch.  I thought it would be a good idea to help  keep down the dust from the wind and also shade us from the morning sun.  Since I used to batik material many, many years ago, I wanted to batik a spiral pattern on them and also use indigo blue dye since it’s a natural substance….and looks beautiful.  Think the color of real blue jeans.

I got busy.  Time passed.  I may have grown a bit lazy too.  Maybe.  Whatever happened, the curtains sat here halfway complete taking up space.  Everytime I looked at the bags of folded curtains I felt a little guilty.  Yesterday, I got in gear and set up the dying area.

I changed my mind at the last minute about having the spiral pattern at the bottom be the only decoration and got inspired by recent images of Japanese Shibori style dyed indigo blue cloth; drop dead gorgeous.  I asked Ana to help me accordion fold the curtain panels and then I tied them in 3 parts.  I considered a really detailed pattern but my laziness got the better of me.  No problemo!20150829_125127                 20150829_125110

Messiness was also on my mind as I did not want to dye everything blue in the house or outside.  Where to hang the things while they dry?  Where will I do the actual dyeing?  I finally decided to put down large sheets of plastic in the driveway and use a medium and large size plastic garbage can.  Long plastic gloves come in rather handy too….just sayin.

Following the simple instructions, I mixed up the batch of dye, wetted the curtain panels and inserted them one at a time into the dye bath for about 7 minutes.  As I took them out, I was already prepared for the weird green color (ick) combined with blue as the dye color is initially green and as you unfold the material, the dye turns blue as it interacts with oxygen.  Weird huh?  Kinda looked like Seahawk colors.

The hardest part was the rinsing, rinsing and rinsing some more.  So glad I did not start this project in the low rain season as we would not have had enough water!


2 panels are complete, more today and a pic of the completed project will be posted later….whenever this one gets finished.