September 14 – Dyeing with Indigo
Before the advent of synthetic dyes, many native and exotic plants were used as a source of color for fiber. Jeanne Frett will be demonstrating how to gather and process leaves of Japanese indigo (Persicaria tinctorium/Polygonum tinctorium) and other indigo producing plants if available in the sufficient quantities (true indigo-Indigofera tinctoria; Guatemalan indigo – Indigofera suffruticosa: and/or Chinese woad – Isatis tinctoria) from her garden to produce glorious shades of blue.
For those interested, this can be a hands-on-activity. Please wear appropriate clothing and bring a small (1 ounce or less) amount of protein fiber (wool, silk, etc.) to create samples to take home. Indigo does not require a mordant but the fiber should be washed to remove any dirt or grease. They can wash it the day before, squeeze out the extra water, and put it in a plastic bag to bring to the program because it should be moist when entering it into the dye bath. If they’re using commercial yarn, presumably the washing has been done, but it doesn’t hurt to wash it if it has been stored for a long time. However, if they plan to overdye the samples with other natural dyes like coreopsis or madder at a later date, then it should be mordanted.
Carpooling: Jeanne has parking for about 10 cars. We are encouraging people to carpool. If you can’t find someone to come with, Karen Evans will be at Lantana Square parking lot (off Limestone Road near the Hardware store) from 8:15 to 8:30 to facilitate carpooling.
Another carpool location would be Nichol Park, a municipal park in London Britain township, on Rte. 896 just south of Good Hope Road. Just let the township know ahead of time that you will be parking there for a carpool. https://www.londonbritaintownship-pa.gov/nichol-park
Schedule: The program will be held from 9 to 3. If you are coming please bring a folding chair. Please contact Karen Evans by September 12th if you are planning to come to the program, so that we can give Jeanne an idea of how many people to expect. The program will be held rain or shine.
There will be time at 11:00a.m. for a business meeting.