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steps that went into dyeing

by John Marshall

fallen Angel full.jpg

The idea for Fallen Angel came to me through association with the Japanese proverb, “Even monkeys fall from trees.”  (猿も木から落ちる) That, and the fact that fallen angel has several meanings in English, brought this humorous image to mind of an angel tumbling from heaven only to land in a patch of hydrangeas.

Fallen _Angel D1.jpg
Fallen _Angel D3 2.jpg

I thought you might enjoy following the steps I went through in dyeing this garment.


It’s 100% silk jacquard organza with a pebble pattern (as in first to cast stones). All dyes are natural. My first version of this was created in 2001 and since then I have executed similar themes in different arrangements and color themes – even as kiribame-style quilts.

Image One: rice paste resist was applied to soy-sized white silk


Image Two: a wash of pale blue was applied, dyes applied to hydrangeas, and angel wings added


Image Three: a protective layer of paste (fusenori) was applied over the dyed hydrangeas, dye was applied to the area of the feathers, followed by protective paste over the dyed feathers, and yet more hydrangea outlines were added


Image Four: another layer of blue was washed over the entire surface, the hydrangeas were dyed and covered with fusenori, an additional layer of hydrangeas was pasted, and again, more blue to the background, with the flowers also dyed with shades of blue


Image Five: the last of the blossoms were protected with paste, followed by shades of indigo and purple brushed into the remaining exposed areas

Top Image: the paste was washed away to reveal the layers, gold powder was painted  on to create halos around the wings and detached feathers, and finally, the yardage was sewn into the garment you see above

Bottom Image: a variation on the theme – different colors, different placement of stencils, no gold

fallen angel v2.jpg
Fallen Angel D4.jpg
Fallen angel D5.jpg
Fallen Angel D6.jpg
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