Archive for May, 2011

More Indigo Results

May 30, 2011

These are scarves made from some organic cotton and organic cotton/hemp that I dyed with natural dyes. I used several different yellows for the warp – kamala, tesu,

The lace scarf was woven with a natural cotton white weft.
After weaving, it was overdyed in woad. The warp overdyed green and the weft stayed woad blue.

The woven shibori scarf was woven with a weft dyed with kamala. The shibori pull threads were woven with 30/2 tencel in the dogwood lace pattern.

After pulling the shibori threads it was dyed in woad.

The different yellows in the warp gave the piece a depth and the light blue of the woad in the lace piece gives it almost a shimmer



Indigo Results

May 17, 2011

These are the results of the various indigo dye baths.  The Henna and Iron tend to have a green cast to them.  The darkest bath was the thio vat as there was a lot of indigo in the vat.  They are one dip each.

Indigo wool/silk samples. Iron, fructose, henna vats

Thio vat with woad and indigo G.

Indigo Play Days

May 16, 2011

Last week, I had the pleasure of taking an indigo class from Jay Rich.  He had just returned from ISEND 2011 and an indigo class with Michel Garcia.  Prior to this class, I’d primarily worked with a chemical vat using indigo, thiourea dioxide, and washing soda.  I had set up an fermentation vat a couple of summers ago but it was difficult to keep at the right temperature in my location.  This was my first experience with the organic vats that Michel Garcia has researched.  We set up 5 different indigo pots.  In four cases, we used Indigofera Guatemalensis.  The last pot was using woad extract.  The woad extract and one of the indigo pots was a chemical vat – thio, washing soda …  The results from the Indigofera Guatemalensis with the chemical assists were darker than what I normally get, but that can be attributed to the indigo source.  The woad was interesting as it was almost turquoise on silk.  The other vats we tried were organic vats with fructose, iron, and henna.  All of these materials are used as reducing agents.  Lime is added to increase the alkalinity.   The general proportions were 1 part indigo, 2 parts lime (calcium hydroxide, we used pickling lime), 3 parts reducing agent.   When these were mixed together, the reaction was immediate.  It was quite impressive.  Items were dipped as usual for an indigo vat.   Use multiple dips to increase the depth of shade.  I had always assumed that the organic vats involved fermentation.  That was not required.  The vats were ready within an hour or so if combining the ingredients.  The only difficulty was keeping the pots warm enough on the cold and windy day we had in Denver.  The expert,  Michel Garcia will be teaching at MAIWA this fall, if this topic is of interest.  He found the information by researching old dye texts and experimenting with it.  The iron vat is discussed in Liles book.  I will also be discussing it in my indigo class at the Taos Wool Festival.

Mixing the indigo, reducing agent, and lime:

These are pictures of the vats.  I will post pictures of the results in the next few days.