Art in The Age invited Elissa Meyers and Mira Adornetto of natural dye house BLUEREDYELLOW to give people a glimpse into natural dyeing in Philadelphia. The event was kicked off with some cocktails, followed by a presentation, which included a history of natural dyes (did you know dyes were first discovered trying to find a cure for malaria?) and a hands-on workshop!
The highlight of the night was definitely the workshop. Mira and Elissa brought indigo dye and white handkerchiefs to give guests the opportunity to try out the natural dyeing on their own.
Here are some of the supplies, before things got fun and messy.
The workshop began with Mira and Elissa offering up lots of supplies which people used to prepare their handkerchiefs. You can see here as people grab for rubber bands, cylinders, and hair ties, so that they can tie up their fabric to create an individual design. Some people were even adventurous enough to fold up their fabric before manipulating it.
As people were preparing their handkerchiefs, the girls took turns stirring up the dye bath which they had brought prepared so that as soon as everyone was ready, they could begin dyeing their fabric.
Before anyone actually dove in and dyed their own fabric, the girls gave a demonstration on how to dip their fabric into the vat so that no oxygen would enter. (This was also our mini chemistry lesson for the day, we found out that if oxygen entered the dye bath that it won't dye properly because it doesn't get the chance to oxidize in the fabric.)
After the demonstration, Mira and Elissa opened up the floor and that's when guests were allowed to move in and start dipping their fabric into the dye baths. As the guest submerged their handkerchiefs into the vat, the indigo dye molecules were absorbed into the fabric.
After submersion, the girls had prepared some post dye bath buckets for guests to rinse off the excess indigo dyes from their fabric and let it sit so the dye could set into the fabric.
Here is one of the finished products! Each of them were unique and looked killer.
Check out the rest of the photos snapped during the event: