October 28, 2015

Book +kit review: The Modern Natural Dyer

Hey I’m today’s stop on the blog tour for this beautiful new book! I have been excited about The Modern Natural Dyer by Kristine Vejar since I first heard about it – Kristine is the founder of A Verb for Keeping Warm, the naturally dyed yarn company and shop in Oakland.

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Like the shop (I had the opportunity to visit several years ago – excellent place!) and AVFKW yarn, this new book is absolutely gorgeous! The photos of all the dye materials and hand-dyed fibers and fabrics make for a book I just want to keep flipping through for the visuals, and then it’s of course packed with all the info you need to know to start natural dyeing.

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Every type of dye material gets a photo spread showing what it looks like, and what colors you’ll get on different kinds of fibers – so many awesome colors you can get out of nature, especially in the yellow-orange range, which you know I love!!

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I took a natural dyeing class with Kristine a few years back – a short lecture intro class – and basically came away feeling overwhelmed and like I probably wouldn’t find the time or motivation to take the next step and actually try anything I learned about. But this book gives me new inspiration, and a new feeling that I CAN manage to take that step, now that it’s all broken down in so much detail for me here.

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Not only did I receive a review copy of the book, Kristine was super generous and sent me a dye kit as well! I chose the indigo kit because I am totally in love with all the indigo projects in the book – the A Verb For Keeping Warm website has this kit and three others: dye with flowers, madder, weld, logwood, or cochineal. All the kits are for specific projects in the book, so they include not just the dye materials but also the items to dye, and anything else you need, like thread, to complete the project.

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The indigo kit I got is for the Waves Bandana project, so it includes two white bandanas for me to dye – a perfect way to try out indigo dyeing for the first time before I use it on something bigger. The bandana project is an introduction to bound resist dyeing – the fabric is wrapped, or bound, so the dye doesn’t touch certain places. I love how the bound fabric looks as it’s being dyed!

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Pretty much everything I need is there in the jar. The kit should be enough for me to dye several medium sized items, so I’ll be pulling a few things from my closet to dip in there after the bandanas!

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Indigo can be used on both cellulose-based and protein-based fibers, but they react differently, and it seems fabrics like cotton and linen are an especially good fit. I have a plain cotton dress that might be the perfect thing!

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The book includes many different kinds of indigo projects – it teaches using indigo with different types of fabrics/fibers, dyeing with other natural dyes along with the indigo to get different colors, creating variegated yarn, bound resist dyeing, pole wrapping (that is a COOL looking technique!), stitch resist dyeing, and folding & clamping.

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One of my favorite projects is this Fishbone Dress, made with the stitch resist technique. You sew the fabric in bunched up lines, then dye it, to create those fishbone looking stripes – so cool! Plus, I love the idea of dyeing already-existing clothes to make them special, like this basic linen dress:

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Okay so here’s the best part of this blog post: giveaway! One very lucky reader will receive the book and one of the kits of your choice!!

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment here saying what item you’d love to natural dye (it could be an item of clothing you already own, a skein of yarn to knit into a shawl, some linen fabric to sew into a shirt, etc). I’ll do a random drawing a week from today, Wednesday November 4th, and I’ll reply to the winner’s comment. Make sure you receive replies to blog comments in your email inbox, or check back here next week to see if you won!

Update 11/4:  Giveaway is now over – congrats to commenter fasdy on her win!!  You can find the book and the awesome kits all for sale on A Verb for Keeping Warm’s website here!

If you want to see lots more peeks into the book, and at different kits and projects, follow the rest of the posts in the blog tour!
Oct 20  STC Craft
Oct 23  DIY Network
Oct 26  Mason Dixon Knitting
Oct 28  Leethal
Oct 30  Mary Jane Mucklestone
Nov 2  Very Shannon
Nov 4  Make Something Blog
Nov 9  Heather Ross
Nov 11 Tolt Yarn and Wool
Nov 16  Made by Katrina

Filed under: books,contest/giveaway — Lee Meredith @ 1:12 pm
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