Chateau Getaway 2015: Day 6

At the beginning of the week we all felt time was all but still. By now, we are all wondering where the time has gone. How could this amazing thing be wrapping up to an end?!

Earlier in the week we had shopped for textiles in markets, brocantes, and even the front lawn of the Chateau Dumas.

Below you will see Amy Butler and Ching trying on tops while Susie, Julia, Meg,Nikki, and Pat Rummage through various bits of fabric clothing. Oh! In the bottom right corner you can barely see the tablecloth that Julia purchased! I wonder if she had seen it yet?!

All of this shopping was partially to prep us for our day of Woading.

Its Woad day! Its Woad day!

IMG_7075 This is a Woad ball.

IMG_7074This, is our Woad specialist Denise.

Here she is giving us a brief history on Woad: The European Blue and preparing us for our day standing around vats dipping our fabrics. The vats of woad looked magical. Swirls of acid green and blue.

Its really no wonder that in days of old people saw the woad dyers as mysterious magic makers! Look at this gaggle of (lovely) witches around their brew! They put white fabric in and it comes out acid green. After a moment it turns blue before your eyes. MAGIC!


Fortunately, we understand oxidation and have been given training from Denise and we spend the day turning everything blue. Even our fingers!


Another gorgeous lunch then we scurry back out to the yard to keep woading! The vats were happier after our lunch break too and began making the most beautiful blues!

I TOLD you, I’ve never eaten so good. This was as much a culinary week as it was a textiles and jewelry workshop.

So back to the field we went to check on our Woad and to continue working. I dipped the bag the French General gave us as well as scraps of Amy Butler fabric. I had several lace bits I dipped as well as some linnens. I now use them for picnics and lining my bread basket. TBD on the lace! I also purchased white cotton at the Chateau and tried different techniques on it. We spent so much time out there and stayed so busy I didn’t get to have Nikki Butler show me how to do her infinity scarf pattern! I’ll have to wing it without her.

I’m thinking of backing that pierced piece with the over dyed Amy Butler fabric and making a pillow. We shall see. Aren’t these blues glorious?! I also bought a market basket in St Antonin and dip dyed that. It was harder to get a gradation on because it would float, fill with water, then sink. The vats were also pretty finished by then but I’m still happy with it and I use it all the time now. It fits right into my bicycle basket too. I also love that it has short handles and long straps. Its perfectly imperfect and I love it.

Something I found out about Woad… I may have an allergy to it! Right away that day my face started itching. I was constantly needing to itch my face. I wasn’t sure what was going on. Eventually I ditched the gloves for easier working between buckets of water and vats and hanging things on the line and ITCHING MY FACE. I later found out that some have allergies to the Woad. I took a shower and felt much better. Once it was laundered I haven’t had a problem. I think a couple of us had some reactions out of the whole group. Would I do it again? Heck yes! It was so relaxing and exciting to see how things would turn out! Its not like regular dye. Its more natural and you just don’t know how that batch will react to your specific fabric that day. I LOVE it.

A bit of beading before dinner…

A delicious dinner then bed! What a glorious day!

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