indigo dye, kasuri sampler

One of my main interests for this collection and for my work all together is to study dye processes and apply it to my woven work. I have been working with Indigo which is a dye that is extracted from plants. It was once considered rare, however today it is produced synthetically. I found a source for natural organic indigo and here are some photos of the yarns I dyed yesterday. Some of the skeins I dip dyed for an ombre effect. The skein in the end (right) is my Kasuri Ikat sampler. 

For my Kasuri ikat below, the areas on this warp that you see are where I tied a resist so that these areas would stay the natural color of the yarn when I dipped them in my dye bath. When I weave this warp, the white areas should create an arrow like pattern (that is, if I did it correctly). This warp is a test before I make the real pieces.

My next yarn dye will be with cochineal, which is a very precious natural dye. It is derived from insects that feed on the Nopal Cactus in South and Central America. Cochineal produces a brilliant red and is the only natural dye that is approved for use in food and cosmetics. Here is a photo of the dye. Isn't it brilliant!

*Thanks to the amazing Zee Boudreaux for fielding all of my questions and for helping me find dye sources.