While reading of a variety of natural dyeing books, I have come across an aspect to the process that adds another level of beauty to the project. Surface design is the art of making patterns on the fabric or yarn. A concentrate of natural dye or a modifier can be painted on the fabric. Shibori techniques can be used to create a variety of patterns. Resist dyeing, dip dyeing, layering the colors, knots in the fabric are also different ways to explore surface design.
I have been experimenting with many of these techniques to see what I can create. It has definitely been a lesson in trial and error. Going into the process, I thought that the hardest part would be coming up with an idea of how I wanted the fabric to look after I applied the surface design. So far, I have been very wrong. The ideas are in my head, but getting them to translate to the fabric has been very difficult. Definitely trial and error. Learning from mistakes and trying again.
If you are interested in learning more about natural dyeing and surface dyeing techniques, The Modern Natural Dyer by Kristine Vejar is an excellent resource to begin with.