You just need to make sure the plant material fits in the pot.). Also, dyeing with indigo involves a different series of steps. Fresh indigo leaves. Add the soaked fabric or yarn and make sure the dye completely covers it. The ancient practice of extracting indicant and converting it to indigo involves the fermentation of the leaves. Turn the heat to high and cover the pot. Add your plant material to the pot. I have also not strained the mixture and gotten good results, but the leaf bits stick to fabric and yarn, which might be annoying. Let me know what happens! Step 2: Step 3: Step 4: Step 5: Use your wooden spoon or paddle to stir the fabric occasionally and make sure it’s totally covered with dye. Hello Louise, I love the colour you achieved. (Creating a dedicated space will make your dye plants easier to identify, too.) The amount of mordant you add depends on you and your recipe. After completing this, your fabric will be ready to dye: Mix alum with 1 cup of hot water to dissolve. Hand wash items in a neutral soap and dry away from direct sunlight. Different recipes may call for different techniques.). The color will gradually develop resulting in robin’s egg blue, turquoise or aqua. The resulting mix is stirred with paddles to incorporate air into it, which allows the brew to oxidize the indoxyl to indigotin. Then you can process all of the leaves, either in the same way with more salt or by following The Dogwood Dyer’s instructions that I linked to. For darker colors, dip for 20-45 minutes and up to an hour. In 1883, Adolf von Baeyer (yes, the aspirin guy) began to investigate the chemical structure of indigo. In the course of his experimentation, he found out that he could replicate the color synthetically and the rest is history. I have managed to get 1600 gms of fresh leaves from two plastic shopping bags of branches harvested. In this article, we would like to introduce you to the some of the traditional metho… Note that this process works best with silk, wool or other animal fibers. Keep a dye diary with swatches. Fill your stockpot with water. This was my first time trying shibori. Eco-printing and natural dyeing by Louise Upshall. The resultant mix is allowed to ferment for a week or so to form a pigment called sukumo. Before you plant your seeds, you might want to clear the space, especially if it contains invasive plants. Hand wash items in a neutral soap and dry away from direct sunlight. Indigo dye has been used for thousands of years by civilizations all over the world to dye fabric blue. I went there yesterday and we harvested some. It’s slow and labor-intensive, but hey, we’re sewists; many of us enjoy the process as much as—if not more than—the finished product. Generally, though not always, these plants are good for dyeing. This is one of the joys of working with Japanese indigo. The fibers will darken somewhat on exposure to air but they do not oxidize like classic vatted indigo. Find the perfect handmade gift, vintage & on-trend clothes, unique jewelry, and more… lots more. Hi Louise, I’ve got both your books and some months ago did an eco dyeing class with Wendi Trulson. The next day I did many rounds of short dips and each time the cotton got darker and more blue. Always dye material that has been soaked in water first. Books, music, coffee - what more could a body want? And here are a few other samples. Check the books under Resources for more information on dyeing with those plants. For example, pink and red flowers might produce yellow or brown dye. I go for native plants because 1) I’m trying to keep the process as sustainable as possible; 2) I’m lazy and don’t want to spend a lot of time on my garden, and once they’re established, native plants tend to grow well without a lot of maintenance or weeding; and 3) I like to watch insects, and planting a native garden is a good way to create a bug-friendly backyard. Wool will also dye beautifully with fresh indigo leaves. Some dye handbooks will give you exact amounts—say, a pound of, Process the plant material as needed to fit in the stockpot: Remove stems, tear large leaves, etc. Other considerations are whether the plant material is fresh or dried, when you pick it, variations in the growing season, and the type of water you use. You can dye either, but the color tends to be more saturated and, in my experience, more consistent in protein fibers. After composting is complete, the remaining material (“sukumo”) is dried and bagged, ready for use in traditional dyeing vats . Let the fabric or yarn soak in water for an hour or more. Why would you ever want to dye with plants? What can you tell me about it. She offered me some Tephrosia rufula which she described as alternative indigo plant. You can also dye with herbs such as purple basil, which is sometimes tough to work with (you need a lot of it) but produces a pretty range of colors, from muted purple to pale pink to sage green. Mordants, Color Changers and other Assists, How to Make a 1-2-3 Shakealotta Indigo Vat, How to Dye With Aquarelle Liquid Natural Dye. – Alder (Alnus rubra) (Bark)- orange. Her experiments are documented at duckbucket.blogspot.com. So I was very excited when some friends offered me clippings from their huge plant. The dye bath will be very cold. Why did this process work so well on raffia- a cellulose fiber? Whenever possible, I try to choose native or native-ish plants, meaning plants indigenous to my area or ones that have been grown in the area for a long period of time. Gently rotate the fiber in the indigo bath. I salute your willingness to explore and expand our base of knowledge. She offered me some Tephrosia rufula which she described as alternative indigo plant. See more ideas about Indigo plant, Plant dyes, Hand dyeing. The leaves are then separated and composted for approximately 100 days, with frequent turning of the pile . I followed the instructions on The Dogwood Dyer’s blog, which involve whizzing up fresh leaves in a blender with cold water and vinegar. Consider that because plants, fabric, and growing environments can change, you might not get an exact match every time. Rinse the material well with tap water and hang up to dry until ready to use. You may want to label the material with the mordant(s) and date. There are a few tutorials online specifically for Australian Indigo, at Turkey Red Journal and Tinker Maker.
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