Itajime Dyeing with Plants and Insects: From Fundamentals to Innovations
This class will explore methods of clamp resist dyeing, “itajime”, as well as the fundamentals of mordanting and dyeing with plants and insects. We will be looking at creativity within the clamp dyeing technique, learning various approaches to dyeing with natural dyes, and gaining an understanding of the structure of the folded and bound resist pattern.
We will work with natural fiber fabrics like silk, wool, cotton, and linen, and learn how to dye lasting colors using natural dyes such as madder root, lac, cochineal, osage, cutch, and logwood. We will work with layering colors and mixing formulas, and learn traditional itajime fold and resist techniques, as well as accordion folding resists. Angelina will share innovations she has been experimenting with such as monoprinting, leaf contact print-and-resist to dyed-wood block, clamped “atenuno print-resist”, and three color itajime within the same dye pot. Students will discover a world of possibilities with bound clamp resist, and will be guided and encouraged to innovate their own experiments.
Students will design and create wood blocks and create fabric using their own blocks, as well as using many blocks provided by Angelina. This class will provide participants with instructions and formulas, information, and hands-on experience, so that all participants can adapt what is learned to their own creative process.
*work clothes/ and or apron
*ruler or square
*needle and sewing thread
*respirator if you have, or dust mask
*thermometer if you have one
*½ to 1 yard piece of wool or silk
*½ to 1 yard piece cotton, linen, hemp or ramie
(you can bring 2 garments instead)
if you work fast, you may want to bring extra fabric
wood blocks – if you have some you would like to use – pairs (plastic plexiglass can be ok, but no metal please)
rubber boots optional
*Items marked with an asterisk are available for purchase in the Shakerag store.
All levels are welcome.
Angelina founded the Ocelot clothing line in 1998, crafting hand-dyed itajime and all-natural fibers into original finely crafted clothing. Her education in textiles began with weaving in Colorado, then self-guided explorations of shibori through Yoshiko Wada’s book, and studies at CCAC in Oakland California. Experiments with natural dyes were founded in teachings by Michelle Wipplinger of EarthHues Color Institute, indigo studies with Jim Liles, and through learning about the use of natural dyes through traveling in India, Mexico, and Bolivia.
The art forms I have been so transfixed by involve the body: first costume, and later clothing. Clothing has given me a form to explore textile upon the body, being functional while transforming the body through bold patterning. Looking at the traditional dress of many cultures I am inspired to create pieces that bring forth a quality of beauty that I find in them. Looking at plants and the landscape I am inspired by the colors and the forms of the natural world. I strive to make clothing that is practical and also resonates with a person, and most satisfying is when a piece seems as though it were custom made. Some pieces feel inventive and new when a “working conversation” evolves with the materials and through the chance happenings of the dyeing and making process, yet they are rooted in tradition – both dye tradition, and textile tradition.