Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Addendum to Indigo

I didn't rinse my skeins until I got home so here they are while they dry. The haze in the background on Sunday is smoke from the hundreds of California wildfires. Today we can no longer see the mountains across the valley. My heart goes out to those who are in closer proximity to the fires. The smoke is no fun.

I was totally intimidated by the process of dyeing with indigo, but I have wanted to do it for literally years, and I have to tell you that I got my panties in a twist for nothing. I bought a half pound of freeze-dried indigo several years ago - Sara says it's a life-time supply. It's simple, straight forward and needs no mordant. Judith MacKenzie has instructions that you can find here. I printed them out, as insurance, but Sara's laid back instructions worked just fine.

I put water in the roaster with about a half of a mounded kitchen teaspoon of the indigo and let it cook, 100-120 degrees, until the metallic skin appeared on the surface - maybe a half hour. Sara said that I needed to be able to look into and through the bath and see yellow. I couldn't, so we sprinkled Rit Dye Remover, the reducing agent, over the top of the bath and let it sit for 10 or 15 minutes. When I went back out (I wasn't going to stand there and watch it and maybe miss something interesting!) I could look into the bath and see the yellow. I knew what it was the second I saw it. I laid the skeins in gently and when I lifted them out, I let the skeins drip outside the bath to avoid introducing oxygen. If you do get the bath oxygenated, sprinkle more dye remover, let it sit a bit, then pick up where you left off. I had to do it a couple of times. It was the easiest, most forgiving dyeing that I have done.

6 comments:

Valerie said...

very pretty blues! I've never done indigo that I can recall. Years ago I took a natural dyes workshop at Greenfield Village, but indigo wasn't part of that.

Lee said...

*So* pretty!

Mim said...

I'm ready to have you teach me the finer art of idigo dyeing! I just love the stuff!

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

Me to! Me to! All I have seen is the synthetic stuff and while it makes a pretty blue, I am intrigued by the way it changes color when you take it out of the bath, what can I say? I'm easily amused ;-)

wooly daisy said...

OMG(as my 16 year old says) those are my favorite blues of all time!!!!

Beryl said...

Just have to share this link with you http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXeectd1GSM&feature=related