Indigo

I realize it’s been quite awhile since I’ve posted, life just gets on the way. I’ve also been on an adventure in fibers. Today I wanted to share about my on going process with indigo.

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These are indigo plants that grow here in South Carolina, this is the tropical variety of indigo not the Japanese. I grew them in a sunny garden area and have harvested half my crop as I want to let the others go to seed for next years crop.

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I placed the plants in water in a bucket and covered for 5 days. The color is extracted from the plants by fermenting and today I removed the plant and moved on to step 2.

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I’ve added lye to create a base ( lowered the ph) and then stirred to add oxygen. Next I need to add a reducing agent which will take out the oxygen for the indigo to be successful as a dye.
There’s a whole lot of chemistry in this dying process but I am enjoying the learning curve.
I’ve collected coreopsis flowers and made a dye bath in a different manner using heat and a mordant of alum.

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The picture shows the natural color fleece. I actually dyed the locks of wool then carded them into the batts you see. The natural is in the bottom to the left is a yellowy from the coreopsis, the purple and red are from the same pot where I didn’t mix up the food coloring dye too well and only half dyed purple and the other red. Oops! Cool mistake though ! The green came from form food coloring.

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Not only will I spin with these colors I have felted too. The flower is wet felted first then needle felted into the burlap for a cool outdoor pillow.
I will show you the results of my dye vat as soon as it is ready. I’m planning a demonstration for Brookgreen Gardens fall festival the first weekend in October.
Hope all of you are well and thanks for keeping in touch with me while I’ve been away from blogging

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3 responses

  1. I love the new colors, especially the GREEN!

    Sharon

  2. Glad you’re back! Hope you had a good summer…

    1. Hello!! I did have a great summer. Hope you did too!!

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