Earning My Room and Board

Persimmon Dyeing in 2001 Cont'd

The almost daily work of dyeing the cleaned cotton fabric rolls continued. The Master's mom (pictured standing) and other neighborhood ajummas folded the rolls through the persimmon juice, carefully soaking every inch.

My contribution was to walk around and reload their tubs by pouring more persimmon juice in. I also entertained them by terribly singing 1980's K-Pop (그러나 그 시절에 너를 또 만나서 사랑할 수 있을까).
When the fabric was thoroughly steeped in the dye juice, I would run each one through the spin cycle on a lidless washing machine. Then we would load the massive moist piles into the van and drive them about 200 meters up behind the house to an open field. There were long drying stands covered with a black plastic mesh. Using sharp pins shaped like the numeral 2, we would pin the fabric out to dry. The sun and the salty coastal air was supposed to be good for getting the proper color from the dyeing process. Witness:
After a few times through the whole cycle (dyeing, spinning, pinning, drying, unpinning, repeat) the fabric would take on the rich brown color seen here.
The ajummas had to follow behind me at first because my pinning technique was not great. They yelled at me, then giggled and flirted. I learned. Eventually. But my fingers were raw and my jeans were covered in dye spots.

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