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Well Done, Indigo.

I don’t want to cast aspersions on your personal life, but I’m going to guess that I had more fun than you did on Friday.  
Jennifer and I dyed fabric with indigo!!  It was awesome fun.  I recommend it highly.  
We had some worrisome moments.  The dye in the vat was supposed to be yellow-green looking but it wasn’t.  
It looked pretty and blue.  You’d think that would be right but it ain’t.  
The blue of indigo results from the way it reacts when exposed to oxygen –  it’s supposed to happen to the fabric later when it comes out of the vat and hits the air.  
We consulted the interwebs for advice.
This was hard to do in the sun so there was some improvising.
That’s a Jennifer consulting her laptop under there.
We added all of the oxygen removing chemicals that we bought along with warmer water, magic mojo juju grisgris to the indigo but it was still blue. 
So we figured something along the lines of “Screw it!”.  We removed the “flower” which is just a really nice word to use for scum.  It’s actually really pretty and iridescent – but scum nonetheless.
We threw some fabric in there.  We started with a little silk scarf that came with the supplies we bought.  
I had tied it all up with string.
As soon as we did, it broke through the blue surface and left this cool yellow/green star shape.  
We were in business.  It must just have been the surface of the indigo vat that was blue.  
The indigo was perfect.  It stunk up the joint – we were glad to be outside – but worked beautifully.
When we pulled the scarf out, it was green but quickly turned a gorgeous blue.  It felt like magic.  Or maybe chemistry.  Or magic chemistry.  Yeah, that’s it.   
Right as we pulled it out of the dye
A couple minutes gone by.
After about ten minutes
Lost track of time here.  Later.
Check out the change in the color after it was exposed to the oxygen.
I broke in my apron!
We dyed for a while.

This linen cloth…
Is the piece all the way to the left.  
Watermarked picture.  🙂
We tried it on linen, woven cotton and cotton jersey.  They all took the dye beautifully.
Here’s another dramatic color change.
It was awesome to see it change color in the air.  
Then we broke for lunch.  I had to take a picture.  I think I was just so hungry by this point that I thought the food looked beautiful or maybe it was the high pH fumes.
And admired our handiwork.
We thought our hands looked pretty blue here but 10 minutes later, they were bluer.  
Well done, indigo.
Here’s some quick follow up pictures of the scarf.  I tied it too tight so there’s lots of white.
But the places that are the dye reached are beautiful.  I think I’ll re-dye it tied more loosely.
We will definitely do this again.  After a little more practice, we’re planning on running a couple of workshops in the fall.   Check this space for more info.

4 thoughts on “Well Done, Indigo.

  1. Love all these photos! You guys done good. It looks amazing! I think I’ll take your workshop. 😉

  2. Yeah, no argument, you had way more fun than I did.
    The results look fabulous.

  3. Oh my. That all looks like so much more fun then my Friday!!

  4. That is so cool! I want a yard and a dyepot and fun like you got to have!

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