dye technique layering

In bellydance we talk a lot about layering. Generally, we mean performing more than 1 isolation movements at the same time, particularly in regard to a shimmy. For example, a hip circle layered over a hip shimmy, or an undulation layered over a shimmy.

Sometimes when I am working on a dyeing project I forget about layering dye techniques one over the other, even when it’s obvious. For example, in most of my shibori dyeing I’ve been doing a vat or tub dye technique, then binding the fabric shibori-style and redyeing. This isn’t baffling… it’s just something I don’t think about.

So over the weekend I needed to dye another Big Cotton Skirt. This one, thankfully, was not so poofy as the last skirt, but it was very, very full. I swore that next time I needed to do one of these I would spread it out and direct-apply. Uhh… except I didn’t have the space to do so… so I couldn’t! My brain then wandered on this track: I want multiple shadings of colors… that’s low water immersion… but I don’t want white areas… that’s a vat dye… aha! So… I dyed it solid turquoise first, and then squashed it into a bucket and poured on jade, peacock, and electric blue dyes. I let it sit about an hour and a half, and voila! It was pretty cool. (Picture soon.) My customer was very pleased with it, as she wants to swing it around with great verve to “Rompi, Rompi”. It also has the virtue (I think) of not being just another solid-colored skirt.

Thinking about this process leads me to more interesting layering ideas:

Arashi shibori over low water immersion…
Tie dye over a vat-dyed solid…
Capped and bound shibori over direct application…

Too many ideas! I’ll never chase them all down.


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