Creation date / 2020 / All / 14
- Having sewed and dyed a formal robe, novice Dhammavaro hangs the cloth to dry in front of a skeleton used for contemplation. A candidate for monkhood at Abhayagiri must sew and dye a set of three robes before his ordination ceremony.
- Dhammavaro wears heavy gloves to manipulate cloth soaking in the boiling reduction bath, which helps to saturate the garment with dye. Beginning with two 40-gallon barrels of madrone bark, the resulting dye would fill only a single, 10-gallon pot.
- A robe soaks in the mordant bath, where tone begins to appear on the cloth.
- Dhammavavro applies mordant to a robe alongside Ajahn Ñaniko, the abbot of Abhayagiri, who dyed a robe at the same time. It's common for a novice to have dedicated help through this process from a more senior monk.
- In the first stage of dyeing, the cloth is soaked in mordant - a solution which will help dye adhere to the garment. After rinsing off excess mordant, the cloth has a slight coloration, seen here.
- Dye drips from Dhammavavro's arm as he hangs his jiworn from a clothesline outside the monks' utility building.
- The robe is refolded over the clothesline in the second stage of flipping to avoid drip marks and ensure even color saturation.
- In the third stage of flipping, the dye is massaged into the cloth with the hands so that it remains in the center of the robe.
- In a process developed at the time of the Buddha, a robe will be flipped in three steps so the natural dye settles evenly on the cloth. This rotation also prevents "racing stripes" as dye drips down the sides.
- Dhammavavro pulls his jiworn from the final dye solution, where it soaked for two hours. The number and duration of baths determine color density and uniformity in a robe - often cloth must be saturated in dye many times for a rich and even color.