Natural Dye – Indigo

From Dharma Trading Co directions for Pre-Reduced Indigo Crystals

  • 20 g indigo crystals
  • 50 g thiox
  • 100 g soda ash
  • 4 galwater
  • Warm water to 80-90 deg F
  • Stir in indigo and thiox
  • Dissolve soda ash in a little bit of boiling water and dd to vat
  • Stir in one direction, slow down, and reverse direction alongside out edge
  • Foam should form flower in center
  • Let settle – should be yellow-green
  • Skim flower and crust off the top and set aside
  • Enter sample and manipulate in water
  • Don’t stir up sediment
  • Squeeze to reduce drips
  • Wait 15-20 minutes before redip
An index card on a white table. There is black and orange jack o' lantern washi tape along the top edge. Handwritten on the card in black ink is the information for the indigo dye detailed on this web page.
An index card on a white table. A row of yarn and fabric samples are stapled to the card - 9 yarn samples and 3 fabric samples. These are all a medium indigo blue like found on classic blue jeans. There are two yarn samples stapled to the bottom of the card. On the left is a teal-blue BFL yarn sample. On the right is a green mohair yarn sample.

Targhee Yarn – Cotton Fabric – BFL Tweed Yarn – Linen Fabric – Raw Silk Noil Fabric – BFL Yarn – Cotton Yarn – Bamboo Yarn – Sugar Cane Yarn – Grey Mohair Yarn – White Mohair Yarn – Masham Yarn

BFL with Mullein Yarn – White Mohair with Onion Skins Yarn

Natural Dye – Woad

An index card on a white table. The information for the woad dye is handwritten in blue ink.
An index card on a white table. On the left is handwritten the continued woad notes in blue ink. On the right are 4 yarn samples stapled to the card. The BFL, BFL tweed, and mint yarns are off white slightly tinted light blue. The cotton yarn is a bright white.

Note: Late, I learned that laundresses used to use a little bit of woad or indigo on white linens and cottons to brighten whites.

BFL Yarn- BFL Tweed Yarn – Mint Yarn – Cotton Yarn

Woad cont.

Notes –

  • Fabric previously dyed with turmeric changed to pink, but back to yellow with washing.
  • Not enough pigment to overdye fabric.
  • Not enough pigment to overdye onion/avocado sugar cane or mullein bamboo.
  • Bare yarns hold some blue, but not saturated.

Woad grown in garden

Harvested and reduced per 8/24/19.

8/31/19 –

11:53 am – 2 gal cold water in bucket. Heat 1/2 gl + add. pH 6 + 3 tbsp soda ash, pH = 10

12:09 pm – 1/2 gal water add (pH10)

12:30 pm – Add 1 tsp thiox to woad stock heated

12:45 pm – Jar color change complete. Remove 1/2 water from bucket to be heated on the grill.

1:08 pm – Hot water to bucket (pH10). 1 tsp thiox.

1:23 pm – Added jar stock to bucket, wait 15 minutes.

1:54 pm – 1 tsp thiox to 2nd jar stock.

2:20 pm – Add recharge to bucket.

2:35 pm – Dye. 4 minutes – mint. 2 minutes – sugar cane. 2 minutes – cotton + linen (2nd). 2 minutes – bamboo. 2 minutes – previously dyed fabric turmeric.

Dry, wash until water runs clear, dry again.

4-5 minutes per sample. 3 previously yellow cotton + linen, 1 cotton yarn, 1 BFL tweed yarn, 1 BFL

Natural/Solar Dye – Mullein

  • 182.78 g mullein
  • about 4 tbsp baking soda
  • 100.3 g wool
  • 8% alum

7/13/19 – Dissolve baking soda into water = 9/10 on pH test paper. Add mullein (2 stalk) to jar.

7/20/19 – Mordant for 1 hour simmer and add to jar.

8/4/19 – Remove fiber and rinse with Soak.

An index card on a white table. In two columns, the information for the mullein dye is handwritten in black ink.

Between the columns and beneath the right column is stapled 2 yarn samples and 2 fabric samples. The cotton sample in the middle is tan. The BFL tweed sample in the middle is also tan. The linen sample on the right is a beige color. The bamboo yarn sample on the right is an off white.

BFL Tweed Yarn – Cotton Fabric – Linen Fabric – Bamboo Yarn

  • 190.3 g mullein
  • about 4 tbsp baking soda
  • 112.9 g fiber
  • 8% alum

Same steps as the other jar.