Wednesday, July 08, 2009

茜 madder garance

tate yoko kasuri
My first attempt with akane was during a kasuri workshop i took. Sensei, being Japanese and a weaver insisted on having us doing all from scratch.Except for spinning the yarn we worked on every step of the process.We designed, tied the yarn, prepared the dye, dyed, set up the looms and the anti climax was really the weaving.
In her lecture prior to preparing the dye she mentioned that in Japan a certain type of seaweed was used and that rice bran was also used . She had brought over the akane

akanefrom Japan.
Notice the thick dried roots.i bought this bag when in Japan and i'm still treasuring half of it until i go back and get more. Dumb oi? If you look closer you can see the label says Indo akane, which means it's from India.

tram silk This is the result. Dyed silk tram awaiting to be woven. It was a captivating first experience and because of akanezome i visited Morioka,a town in the Iwate prefecture when i was in Japan. Fantastic akane and shikon Nanbu shibori (scroll down to mid page)is made there as well as katazome. And the town is delightful.

But back to dyeing .
i was able to locate recipes in some old books using bran, so this has been common knowledge since the beginning of the world. Here is a book with some recipes and also tips for dyeing silk and cotton. An exciting find indeed because it's part of the Gutenberg project. Let wisdom spread and we'll all be wiser and happier! Perhaps not richer nor prettier, but who cares if we're happier and wiser :)

Fast forward to traveling.
For travelers another charming and closer spot to try would be Albi in France where part of their medieval splendor came from the madder ( Fr-garance) trade. i'm sure that with some time for research more exciting finds about dyeing with madder can be found there. And to close the tourist bureau Toulouse Lautrec was born there so there are other interesting cultural stops.

neki desu

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  1. gosh, this is so beautiful....dyeing is really on my mind lately. i have never really dug deep enough. i thanks.

  2. Wow, what a great dye result! Beautiful color! And the gloss. I wonder if silk at this stage could already be suitable for crocheting/knitting... Would it be durable enough?

    Cool blog you've got! :-)

  3. this is all so fascinating - interesting about the seaweed - I wonder which kind it is. You created beautiful colour.

    By the way as I'm a proofreader aong other things, I just signed up to proofread for project gutenberg after following your link! My little bit to help spread the wisdom and happiness!!


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