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Literally Dyeing: Taking a Closer look at Shibori Tie-Dye with Candace Edgerley


Candace Edgerley working with dye
Candace Edgerley working with dye

Candace Edgerley, a long time instructor at The Art League is teaching a series of winter classes perfect for those looking to get started with textiles! Edgerley has lectured at The Textile Museum in DC and Edgerley’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in China, Spain, Korea, Japan, Germany, Mexico and France.  As a juried-in-artist at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, Alexandria, VA, she shows her work in Fiberworks Studio #14 as well as The Art League gallery. We checked in with her to find out more about here upcoming Winter workshops, and we are literally dyeing to try one!

What got you into dyeing textiles, and how long have you been working in the industry?

I started selling quilted garments using commercial fabrics about twenty-five years ago. It wasn’t long after that I discovered the traditional Japanese technique of Shibori and the possibility of creating my own fabric. Shibori is the Japanese word for the process of resist dyeing fabric by stitching, binding, clamping or wrapping.  Several trips to Japan and workshops with Shibori masters have led me into teaching the technique, previously at the Corcoran College of Art & Design and now at The Art League School. I also teach other dye techniques including screen printing and block printing on fabric.

What can beginners to the world of dyeing expect on the first day of your workshop?

In both my Shibori Dyeing: Tie-Dye on Steroids and Design and Print Your Own Fabric workshops, the basics of using Procion MX dyes are introduced. I encourage students to begin work on small sample pieces and explore the possibilities of each technique. Shibori students will clamp and fold, hand stitch, and pole wrap fabric to create patterns and texture before immersing the fabric into the dye. Those in the printing workshop use thickened dye to screen print and mono print pattern and design on cotton and silk.  In addition to the sample pieces, students will have scarves to dye in the workshop.

A student’s work
Students in one of Edgerley's classes
Students in one of Edgerley’s Shibori workshop 
A student's dyed scarves
A student’s dyed scarves

What do you do with textiles after you dye them?

As a juried artist at the Torpedo Factory and member at Fiberworks Studio #14, I sell my scarves, garments, and pillows which have been hand dyed using mostly Shibori techniques.

Candace’s scarves at Fiberworks Studio #14
Candace’s pillows

I am also a member of a local artist group of thirteen, New Image Artists, who show our work in exhibitions locally and nationally.  I show framed Shibori pieces and quilted wall art in these exhibitions.

From an exhibition last year at the Athenaeum in Alexandria.
From an exhibition last year at the Athenaeum in Alexandria.

Working collaboratively with my daughter, Tamryn Edgerley McDermott, we transferred our drawings onto fabric using Thermofax screens and thickened dye. Our banner was juried into Art al Vent XI festival in Gata de Gorgos, Spain.

Art al Vent XI banner
Art al Vent XI banner

Have you seen students use their fabric creatively after they leave your class?

Yes, I have stayed in touch with many former students who have also fallen in love with these techniques and are doing some beautiful work.

See some examples of Candace’s students’ work from previous workshops and classes below:

Pillow by Michelle, Shibori dyed, pieced and stitched.
Pillow by Michelle, Shibori dyed, pieced and stitched
Pillows by Barbara, Shibori dyed.
Pillows by Barbara, Shibori dyed.

Sign up for Candace’s workshops, “Dyeing: Shibori Tie-Dye on Steroids,” “Dyeing: Low Water Immersion for Textiles” and “Design and Print Your Own Fabric.

If you are interested in learning more about Candace and her work, she can be found at:

candace@candaceedgerley.com, www.candaceedgerley.com, Instagram: candaceedgerley, Fiberworks Studio 14.

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