Last weekend I attended Not Your Mom’s Tie Dying Workshop, a fabric dyeing class at The Lemon Bowl shared workspace with An-Phuong Ly. I’d been wanting to attend a class at The Bowl (Can I call it that? Are we at that level?) for a while, as I’m a fan of the founders and members’ work and—let’s be real—Instagram accounts.
The dying class includes a lightweight scarf and all the materials required to dye it. Following the workshop An holds dyeing open studio hours, where attendees already familiar (attending the workshop makes you familiar!) with dyeing can bring their own garments and fabric and get more experimental with different patterns.
We used fiber reactive dyes which have a pretty just-add-water simplicity that everyone could handle. Two teaspoons of the powder dye mixed with a squeezbottles’ worth water got you a good amount of color and a way to apply it.
Before applying to color, you soak the garment in water and soda ash for 30 minutes. An added dye to two of the soak buckets so you had the option to start with a red or blue base color if you felt like it. The rest of the process was direct application. Remember Dan’s Cafe in Adams Morgan? It was kind of like that.
While the garments soaked we mixed and selected colors. I was cautious, knowing that all pretty colors don’t necessarily blend together nicely. To help with color choices, An separated the colors into warm and cool collections and suggested sticking in one color family. We would sample the colors on a paper towel first to create a palette before diving in.
After soaking the next step was creating the pattern. Tight folds for a geometric look, a loose twist for a more organic feel. Rubber bands held the structures together while we squeezed away.
While you’re at the Lemon Bowl, be sure to check out some of the art they have for sale, too. Cards, jewelry, prints, all kinds of adorable stuff. And definitely keep an eye on the cal for An’s class.
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