Task #1: Scouring cloth

Cloth to be dyed is divided into two major groups: 1) cellulose or fibers from plants, and 2) protein fibers from animals.  Both need to be scoured before dyeing to remove starches and processing residues.  Scouring allows the dye to penetrate the fibers more evenly and makes the finished product lightfast (doesn't fade in light) and colorfast (color doesn't wash out).  Scouring is an important step in producing wearables to prevent dyed clothing from staining one's skin or transferring color onto other surfaces.  Cellulose and protein fibers require different scouring techniques.  NOTE:  For our Indigo Dye Sample Book we will need a total of 20 cloth samples. My samples are all the same, i.e. fat quarters, table napkins, or bandanas in either muslin, 100% broadcloth, linen, or hemp fabrics so that I can sell them if necessary to offset the cost of purchasing indigo dye supplies.

Cotton Cloth In Scouring Pot

Residue Left Behind From Scouring Process

(L) Cotton Cloth Not Scoured
(R) Cotton Fabric Scoured

Washing Soda Same As
Soda Ash But w/More Water

Blue Dawn for Cellulose Fibers
(Cotton, Linen, Hemp, Rayon)

Castile Soap for Protein Fibers
(Silk & Wool)

Task #2: ironing cloth  for Indigenous
resist design patterns

We will need thirteen (13) cotton samples to create the resist design patterns needed for our Indigo Dye Sample Book.  Twelve (12) of these cloth samples will need to be ironed.  The thirteenth pattern is Arashi Shibori or pole wrapping and works best on wrinkled unpressed cloth.  We are making thirteen (13) samples for each of the 13 Moons in a year.  I use a wool pressing mat, a spray water bottle, and a steam iron to press samples.  My grandmother and great-grandmother didn't know anything about geometry but they used it as a practice of survivance passing down the stories and teachings associated with each geometric shape as their mothers and grandmothers had transferred it to them.  My mother was the first in our bloodline to graduate college, and as a teacher, she made the connection that our sacred symbols were connected to geometry.  The square shape represents the earth, the triangle fire, and the rectangle river or water.  We lived, worked, and fished in the Contentnea Creek River and the Pamlico Sound.  You will need rust-proof safety pins, Tyvek labels, and a black Sharpie to tag each of your resist design samples.

NOTE: The cloth for the thirteenth resist design, and the seven (7) samples for the Indigo Value Scale don't need to be ironed.

Fold Representing River or Water
Fan Folded

Fold Representing Fire
Flag Folded

Fold Representing Earth
Folded in Fourths

Task #3: Centering

Task #4: Stitching up the blues

Task #5: binding up the blues

task #6: chitlin' circuit blues improv

task #7: unbinding freedom