Weaving class Part I: dyeing

04.08.11 | 4 Comments

In Luang Prabang, I found a weaving class, which I’ve never seen anywhere else we’ve been. I just *had* to take it. I chose a 2-day course at the Ock Pop Tok textile gallery and weaving center, which included natural dyeing techniques and the weaving of a full silk scarf with a traditional motif.

First, we picked the Annatto off the tree, which was going to make the “monk-orange” color. We had to open the pod and collect the little balls into a mortar.

Donatta and I worked hard at extracting those little suckers.

After crushing them with a pestle, the bright red powder was ready.

The powder was then added to boiling water and bubbled for a few minutes. You could see the color of the foam turn orange.

Once boiled enough, we dipped some white silk into the hot dyeing pot and left it there for half an hour or so.

After being dried in the sun, this is what they looked like finished: Annatto made Orange, the heart wood of the sappan tree mixed with metal made Purple and mixed with a limestone paste made Red.