Cynthia St. Charles Store

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Indigo Dyeing

I've had indigo dyeing on my mind for a number of years.
Finally! I was able to do it!

I wanted to do some garment dyeing, so I created several Bog Coats - such as this one above. A super simple pattern to make - from a single piece of fabric. I added patch pockets. The one in the picture is made of cotton, but I also made a couple in silk.
These were manipulated shibori style prior to dyeing to create visual interest.

I used the instructions for pre-reduced indigo from Earth Guild at
I'd ordered the pre-reduced indigo and Sodium Hydrosulfite from Shibori Dragon.
I also referred to "A Handbook of Indigo Dyeing" by Vivien Prideaux, published by Search Press.

The Earth Guild / Jacquard recipe was super easy to follow and worked perfectly in the 5 gallon bucket I wanted to use. Apparently, this will keep for quite a long time if it is properly maintained! Fortunately, I also have instructions for maintaining the vat.
So, in the picture above, you can see the stirring process after all ingredients were added to the vat. Below - see the "flower" in the center. This is skimmed off the surface before you start dyeing.

You can see that the liquid is clear yellowish green, but the surface is dark blue/indigo with a coppery metallic sheen. Beautiful!

The fabric looks pale yellow green when it is first removed from the vat.

Different shades of green - depending on the fabric.

I'll continue on about indigo dyeing in the next post.


kathy york said...

Congrats on the cover!! Way to go!
Thanks for posting about your indigo dye (and the various resources you consulted). I am really surprised to see green fabric, and can't wait to see the results.

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