Indigo vat dye

Iron and copper pots are also usable but will affect the outcome. Avoid aluminium. The human mind is keen on forgetting things very quickly, especially if the process was successful. Writing things down will make it easier to share information or to successfully repeat the process. If you feel comfortable with all of the chemicals above, how to store them and what to do in case of a spill or other accident, then go ahead.

This is easily done by measuring 0. Keep in mind that this is a exothermic process gives off energy, in this case heat and that sodium hydroxide is a base so take care when doing this. If not, my literature recommendation on basic chemistry is Chemical principles by Atkins and Jones In indigo dyeing, there is the preparing of the vat where the indigo is and the dye bath where the vat and fibres are added and the actual dyeing takes placeso look at the instructions for both of these to make sure you have enough material for each step.

indigo vat dye

The indigo vat can be done indoors for several reasons, mainly because of the lack of ammonia. Stay outdoors for the dye bath! Plan ahead. And there you go. Now you have a vat! Just make sure to save it in a tightly shut glass jar with a minimum of air in it. Use appropriate tools when removing the fibres from the bath. Always wear protective gloves. Protective glasses can also be used if deemed necessary. Rinse fibres thoroughly after dyeing. When dyeing loosely woven wool, it is possible that there will be a shrinkage because of the temperature of the bath.

To avoid this, test the shrinkage of your fabric beforehand and add shrinkage allowance accordingly. Take your time, read and think things through. It usually takes me half a day to do one batch of indigo dye and I usually do the calculations the day before. Not happy with the first result? Then just redo it, an intense indigo dye can save the blotchiest of fabrics. If you get a stain of indigo powder somewhere, just clean it up using a paper tissue with denatured alcohol.

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To avoid this, be careful and keep a clean working area and remove everything that you could not handle being stained. Wear working clothes, you will get stains on your clothes. Concerning historical sources of indigo for the 10th century, it is the same dyestuff in both woad and indigo; indigotin. Currently, I think that the trickiest part with indigo dyeing is knowing when to stop. Experience is key.

Atkins, P. Freeman and Company, New York.Michel talks about the vats in simple terms. This also represents the proportions of indigo, lime, and sugar that go into the vat:.

I probably get more questions about making and maintaining an indigo vat than anything else. There are so many unknowns. I recently had several people ask me about the quantity of indigo in the vat. What is the difference? Will you get a darker color from a vat with more indigo? As you can see from the samples dyed the very next day, there was a great deal of difference in the colors produced from each vat. Even on day 3 there was significant difference. But one week later, the 3 shades of blue are much more similar.

All of these samples represent only one minute dip in the vat. Why would you use 8 grams of indigo per liter instead of 2 when you can get a similar color from both these options? There is more indigo in the vat, which means more can be dyed over a longer period of time before additional indigo must be added.

If I were doing a short-term vat for a small amount of dyeing, 2 grams of indigo per liter would probably be plenty. The coloration of the reduced liquid in the 3 vats is different, indicating varying amounts of indigo in reduction. But the textile is only able to absorb so much dye at a time. We always build up color with multiple, long dips in the vat.

The other thing you can see through these glass jars is the amount of sediment at the bottom of the vat. The weakest vat has very little and it gets progressively deeper with the stronger vats. I currently have a liter vat that I have been using for over a year now. How many bananas or sweet potatoes do you need to reduce 10 grams of indigo?

Take a good guess. Making small experimental vats in glass jars has taught me a great deal about how the vat works. However, I have found that my sediment reduces when I am not actively dyeing all the time although I stir it every so often to keep it healthy and check its pH etc. Joy will probably debunk this theory! It is helpful when the small test vats are in transparent bottles, unlike my large vats, so that you can actually see the sediment, but I have never left one of those go for an extended period of time months?

I will try and keep those small vats around for a time, dye with them, and see what happens. I will also check with Joy. She mentioned once that lime in particular causes a lot of sediment and I think it may be plaster though I have not confirmed that. I also have a vat made with fructose and lye sodium hydroxide going and trying to make sense of that. We will all learn this together….

Thank you Catherine for another fascinating article. I so look forward to receiving them and following your experiments and results. Certainly it makes me so awe inspired at the thousands of years of knowledge that dyers in every culture are part of. Thank you. Hi Catharine! Really enjoyed this post. Seeing the vat in a clear container really brought some new insights for me.

In the case of the the 2 g.Extremely easy to use, Pre-Reduced Indigo makes setting up an Indigo vat almost effortless. There is no need to grind, then paste up the Indigo granules because they dissolve easily in water.

indigo vat dye

You can have the vat prepared in about 10 minutes! Do not use utensils or dishes used for eating. Wear gloves. Always work in a well ventilated area. When using bulk pre-reduced Indigo, the following recipe provided to us by the manufacturer fits well in a 5 gallon bucket:. Make vat with warm water, about 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. A cylinder shaped container with a tight fitting lid works the best.

Try to dissolve the Soda Ash by adding a little boiling water to it.

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It won't completely dissolve. Add the soda ash to the vat. With a dowel or stirring stick, stir in a circle, going in one direction.

Slow down and reverse the direction of the stirring, dragging your stir stick along the outer edge of the vat before removing your stir stick. This will bring the foam that has formed, which is called the flower, to the center. Let the mixture settle. The liquid should be a clear yellowish-green color. When you are ready to dye, wet your fabric and squeeze out any excess water. Skim the flower and crust off the top of the vat and set aside. Enter your wetted-out fabric slowly and manipulate under the surface of the water.

You don't want to stir up the sediment at the bottom of the vat. Nicely, you get way less with this product than with natural indigo. Squeeze the fabric as you lift it out trying not to drip or make bubbles, as this introduces more oxygen into the vat.

When you lift your fabric out, it will be a yellow-green color. As the air hits the fabric, the indigo will gradually oxidize and the fabric will turn blue. After 15 to 20 minutes, you can re-dip your fabric for darker shades, or rinse and un-tie if doing tie-dye and wash. Put a lid on the vat and it will be ready for another dye session when you need it.

The indigo vat can last for several weeks or months if properly tended. Now that you've fallen in love with your Indigo Vat you'll want to know how to keep it as healthy and happy as possible.Michel has been teaching and lecturing at the Maiwa Textile Symposium since He has worked with Maiwa in India as a dye specialist, most notably at the Maiwa Masterclass. Michel and Maiwa founder Charllotte Kwon meet on a regular basis to conduct natural dye research, explore recipes and test procedures.

Together they are always looking for techniques that give the most exquisite colours - made to outlast the fibres they adorn. Let's consider each of these three things It is an extract derived from plants.

indigo vat dye

Depending on the variety of indigo available locally, some artisans will make a dye vat directly from the plant leaves. When buying indigo extract, it may be purchased as lumps which require grinding or as a fine powder. Indigo being extracted from plants in south India. Indigo in paste form being cut into squares.

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Dried indigo. Sometimes called a cake or rock. Sodium hydrosulfite or thiourea dioxide are both commonly used as reducing agents. A reducing agent removes the oxygen from a solution. In doing this, the reducing agent also takes the oxygen from the indigo molecule. With the oxygen removed, indigo becomes soluble in water at room temperature.

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A reducing agent is necessary to make an indigo solution. Without it the powdered indigo is suspended in water but not actually dissolved.

What is the difference between a suspension and a solution? A fish is suspended in the ocean. But salt is dissolved in the ocean.Though the process of turning green leaves into brilliant blue dye through fermentation has been practiced for thousands of yearsit still feels magical.

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Most natural dye colors are derived from bark, berries, or leaves that can be boiled down and dyed with—but the process of making blue dye is much more difficult.

But when I first witnessed the wondrous natural process of making indigo from plant to paste at a small studio in Thailand, I fell in love with the traditional process and the brilliant color it produces. This is the real deal. By September or October, the plants are ready to be pruned and used for making dye. We bundle the small leaf Indiofera tinctoria leaves together using stems as ties. The larger leaf varieties of indigo like Strobilanthes flaccidifolius can go straight into the bins.

The paste is then collected by pouring it over mesh collecting debris then though a fine cotton cloth.

This is natural indigo paste, which can be stored in plastic bins for one to two years and used for dyeing later. Notice the beautiful variations in color.

Dyeing takes place in the green form of indigo which is known, confusingly, as white indigo. The paste is mixed with ash water, fruit sugars or rice whiskey, and left to ferment. Tie dye and Japanese Shibori are created by tying, rolling, stitching, and folding white cloth before dyeing. Dutch Design Week Amman Design Week New York Textile Month Full Circle.

The Shape and the Substance. New Products. Slow Fashion. Handmade Goods. Share Tweet. The Process: Indigo from Plant to Paste. Heavy stones are used to press the color from the leaves during an overnight soak.

The covered bins need to sit for about 24 hours, depending on the weather. Like magic, the water has fermented overnight and turned blue.

What went wrong with the Indigo Vat? Top Five Problems and How to Solve Them

Step 4: Removing the bundles The bundles are drained and removed. The plants are used for fertilizer.

Indigo Dyeing Tutorial

Step 8: Preparing the vat Dyeing takes place in the green form of indigo which is known, confusingly, as white indigo. Step 9: Tie Dye and Shibori Tie dye and Japanese Shibori are created by tying, rolling, stitching, and folding white cloth before dyeing.

Step Dyeing Part Two Different shades of indigo after one or multiple dips in the vat. To Learn More….There are four or five standard issues that can arise with the indigo vat. These are normally easily fixed. The most frequent troubleshooting tactics involve the pH, or the vat temperature. Natural dyeing with indigo is both a simple, and a complicated process.

The procedure is simple, but what happens on the molecular level is complicated, and a single missing part can ruin the vat. Or at least, it can ruin the vat until you know how to fix it. If you are new to dyeing with indigo, you can check out this article for the basic reduction vat method based off of a woad extraction. These trouble shooting tips are designed for the basic reduction vat. Some problems with the natural fermentation vat can also be solved with these methods.

A reduced indigo vat should be green, with a blue to purple foam on top. If your vat is blue then there is a problem. Start by checking the pH and make sure it is at Then, check the temperature of your vat. It should be at least body-temperature or warmer. Once your vat is at the right pH, and is the right temperature, the reduction reaction should happen very quickly.

If the vat does not change despite adjusting the pH and heating up the vat, you may need to add more reducing agent. Add an additional teaspoon of the reduction agent, and let sit for minutes. This should reduce your vat. If you are dyeing yarn or fabric and the fabric is refusing to go past a certain depth of shade, then there could be two possible problems.

The first is that you have put the fabric into the vat, and left it. In this case, the indigo only lays down to a certain depth of shade before the molecules start being re-reduced and removed from the fabric. For the darkest indigo, you need to soak, or vat, the fiber for 15 minutes.

Remove the fiber and oxidize it for 15 minutes, and then revat for a further 15 minutes. Continue this rotation for rotations of vatting and oxidizing for the darkest and most colourfast indigo blues.JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. Until the late 19th century indigo was obtained from plants, the most significant geing Indigofera tinctoria.

Experience, patience and a sensitivity for subtle color changes are necessary for successful dyeing. Obtain the darkest blues through a properly reduced vat and repeated dyeing to build color depth. Synthetic Indigo requires a reducing agent, Thiox, and an alkali, Lye. When the fabric is removed from the yellow-green dye vat and begins to oxidize, the subtle changes from yellow-green through blue are captivating.

What went wrong with the Indigo Vat? Top Five Problems and How to Solve Them

Pre-Reduced Indigo: You will love working with this! Pre-reduced indigo is not instant indigo. Extremely easy to use, pre-reduced indigo makes setting up an indigo vat almost effortless. There is no need to paste up the indigo granules because they dissolve easily in water. Wear rubber gloves and a dual cartridge respirator to minimize contact.

Always work in a well ventilated area. Good house-keeping is essential to good results. Utensils used for dyeing should never be used for food preparation. Indigo Dyes. Home - Indigo Dyes. Show 12 24 Sort By Position Name Price. Synthetic Indigo. Synthetic Indigo Sampler Kit. Pre-Reduced Indigo. Pre-reduced Indigo Kit.

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