18 July 2019

Playdate with Marcella

Marcella sent me a link to a form of Japanese dyeing called Kakishibu - persimmon juice dyeing. 

This photo is off the internet. They were made by masami yokoyama yokoyama.

The fermented persimmon juice is very expensive so I suggested we try to imitate the color with MX dyes. She came over today after having purchased jars of dusty orange and nutmeg dyes from ProChem. We tried to approach this is an organized and scientific way. 

We set out three sets of three bowls and added about a fat half to a half yard of fabric to each bowl. Each set had a half cup of water, a half cup of dye solution and a half cup of soda ash water. Marcella labeled each of the three bowls light, medium and dark. In the light here was one tablespoon of dye concentrate then filled to a half cup with water. The medium had 2 tablespoons and the dark 4 tablespoons.

The first one we tried was dusty orange.

The next was Nutmeg

The last was what we called half and half, equal parts dusty orange and nutmeg.

We had to make the most of our time so I rinsed them by hand after an hour and soaked them in soda ash solution. After wringing, we laid them out on the hot asphalt driveway and they dried very quickly. Now we were ready to make marks. See the next post for fabulous results.


  1. Exciting! Lovely colours and can't wait to see the results of the mark making.

    1. They will be up on the 22nd! Boy that was fun!!!!

  2. Very rich colors...Love that you have the space and facilities to do these wet, juicy projects! (and a playdate friend!)

  3. I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next!

  4. Just curious what does the Soda Ash theoretically do?
    I been experimenting with persimmon dye and modifiers like Iron and Soda Ash.
    The Iron makes it very dark/black, but the Soda Ash Im not sure what it does.
    It seems to make it darker brown at first when i did a simple dip in it ... Afterwards when it dried, I cleaned in a buckets of just water and noticed alot of brown was washing off into the water (I am on my 6th cleaning in a bucket of water and each time the water is still brown, although less and less brown) ...
    Its if the Soda Ash was actually removing the Kakishibu/brown dye and I didn't notice it until I cleaned it with water.

    1. We used commercial MX (procion) dye and to make that dye bind to the fibers, soda ash is requited. I actually know nothing about persimmon or any natural dyes.


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