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Bengala Dyes by Guest Artist Cathy Wycliff

Bengala Dyes by Guest Artist Cathy Wycliff

Our guest artist today is Cathy Wycliff aka Luvswool.
Over the past couple of years, I have been experimenting with different kinds of dyes. I started with Wilton icing gels, playing it safe for my first experience. I moved on to acid dyes, with the encouragement of Forum members, and I was delighted with the bright, beautiful colors.

Then I tried dyeing with natural plants, like madder, logwood, and osage orange. I ended up with some beautiful dyed wool. Marilyn and I brewed an indigo vat last summer, dyeing everything from lace curtains to wool and T-shirts. This summer I experimented with eco-printing and had some success, but a few failures as well.

When I studied Saori weaving in Minneapolis recently, my instructor, Chiaki O’Brien, also introduced me to Bengala dyes.

They are natural dyes made from the soil in Japan. I was excited to try yet another type of dyeing. I had the trial set of three colors–pink, orange and gray. I liked the idea of natural dyes, already prepared in liquid form, and non-toxic with no boiling water and no mordants. Following is my pictorial on two sessions of Bengala dyes.

I dyed some cotton, linen, silk ribbon and a silk scarf to see if there were any difference on how each dyed.

Session 1

IMG_1249 IMG_1250 IMG_1253 IMG_1254
Session 2

IMG_1306 IMG_1307 IMG_1308 IMG_1311 IMG_1312

If anyone is interested in using these dyes, they are available for purchase from Saori instructors throughout the world.

In the USA, you will find them here: saoristudiofun.com/bengala-dyes/

Otherwise, you can google “Bengala dyes” and find offerings from other parts of the world, including Japan, where they are made. I know for sure that Australia, Canada and the UK have the dyes available from Saori instructors. The dyes are particularly
useful when dyeing with young children.

Thanks Cathy for sharing your experience with us about these Bengala dyes!

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