Indigo Dyeing – 藍染め

Okayama, November – 岡山、11月

Arts and Crafts Village had Airbnb guests; Donna and Brent from America. Toyomi held an indigo dyeing workshop for Donna and me. First we selected the items we wanted to dye, and then we dyed them in Toyomi’s premade indigo liquid. It was very interesting business, like some kind of magic! 

アーツ&クラフツビレッジに、アメリカからAirbnb(エアビーアンドビー)のゲスト、ドンナとブレントがやって来て、1泊していきました。豊美さんは、ドンナと私のために藍染めのワークショップを開いてくれました。はじめに染めたい物を選んでから、豊美さんが用意していた藍液で染めました。何かの魔法のような、とても面白い作業でした!

I started with a folded handkerchief where we attached the wooden boards on both sides of the cloth; these boards make the pattern. Then we soaked it to a bowl filled with water and liquid soap. When it was all wet, we removed the extra water from it, and submerged the package into an indigo bucket. Kept it there for 3 minutes and then took it out – indigo needs oxygen to work – and then dipped it back into indigo again. First the cloth was green, then it turned to blue. 

まず、折りたたんだハンカチを両側から木の板で挟みました。この板が模様を作ります。それを、ボウルいっぱいの水と液体せっけんの混合液に浸します。十分に染み込んだら取り出して水分を絞り、藍液のバケツに沈めます。3分浸した後、いったん取り出して空気に晒し、また藍液に浸しました。藍には酸素の力が必要です。はじめは緑色だった布が、しだいに藍色に変わりました。

It was exciting to open the package and remove the moulds. Indigo still needed air, and we hung the handkerchief to a clothesline for a while, and still the color deepened. After that, we rinsed the cloth and squeezed it dry, and put it in vinegar water for 5 minutes. Then it was ready!

型を外して広げる時はワクワクしました。藍はまだ空気に触れさせる必要があって、ハンカチをしばらく物干し綱に吊るしておくと、ますます藍色が濃くなりました。それから布を濯いで固く絞り、お酢の液に5分浸しました。これで、完成です!

The wooden boards
The cloth is between wooden boards

First, the cloth is in soap water, then in indigo

Donna dipped it few times, and removed the wooden boards

Donna and her handkerchief

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