Amanda Marksdottir (ragnvaeig) wrote in naturaldyes,
Amanda Marksdottir

  • Mood:

Indigo Vat at EK Spring War Practice

I did an indigo dye demo as part of the "artisan's row" at East Kingdom Southern Region Spring War Practice yesterday--it's normally a hit with the kids (young and old) who get to watch the fibre turn from green to blue, and they get to learn a little chemistry while they watch.

Due to site restrictions on open fires, I did it on my trusty Coleman stove in my normal aluminium dye pot. I decided to go with a few skeins of different fibres, including different breeds of wool and a couple skeins that would be top-dyed with the indigo. I used Spectralite and washing soda (15 g synthetic indigo::9 g Spectralite::90 g sodium bicarbonate) as reducers in the stock solution, which I mixed up at home so I wouldn't have to bring my digital kitchen scale outside.

Indigo Vat Setup

(Click any photo to embiggen and to read the notes on each)

I kept the dye pot around 50ºC by eye (wisps of steam but no bubbles) and worked until the pot had re-oxidised itself. I hung my skeins to oxidize and dry on a little rack I improvised out of a long branch and two forked sticks.

Indigo Dyed Fibre

The finished fibre seems to have been a much greater success than with my last indigo vat. Am really quite pleased with the results. I didn't keep track of exactly how long things were in the pot, or how many dips I did of each--I was teaching something else intermittently at the same time--but for someone of the "surprise me" school of dyeing I rather like how these turned out.

Out of the Indigo Pot
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.