Dyeing for Beauty

Yesterday I did something I had yearned to do for years: with good friend Kris, I dyed a multitude of silk and velvet scarves. There’s something about color and texture, length and hue that makes me outrageously happy. I suppose I’m drawn to this for the same reason I love beading: the older I get, the more I turn into a crow who aims toward shiny things. It also felt like the right thing to do at the right time: working with light and color on the shortest day of the year.

The process was outrageously easy. We mixed the powdered dye in jars, soaked each scarf in warm water, wrung it out and lay out on a large surface. Then we painted, sometimes gathering handfuls of fabric and skimming the edges, and sometimes landing in muddles of color or long streaks. Then we put each scarf into a plastic bag and let it stew for six hours before washing it out and then soaking it briefly in a fixer. Once dry and ironed, the colors powered out.

In any case, it’s a joy to simply lose myself in making something vibrant. Color particularly is often irridescent, shifting in the changing life. For this holiday season and well past it, I encourage us all to pitch ourselves toward the vibrant in our lives, making what makes us happy. In doing so, we can find that part of who we are, always were, at our core is infused with a deep well of joy and beauty.

Meanwhile, thank you, Kris for showing me how to do something I love.


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