For many years, I was happy and content dyeing with plants found practically under my feet. Sometimes, when studying dusty old dyeing books, I saw intimidating indigo recipes, which required purchase and use of chemicals I couldn't pronounce, and even less understand the effects and consequences of. So I didn't make blues, even though it's a favourite colour of mine. But didn't care that much, really, there's a big world of colours, besides blue.
There's a time for everything. The blues started growing in my own garden, and then I just had to go with the flow. A new world opened up to me through the japanese indigo, and now I've even begun flirting with the 'real thing'. There are - and has been, for generations and generations - ways of fermenting indigo, that are not harmful to the environment. It's like fermenting food, just a tad more smelly
Above is a vat I started approximately 2 weeks ago, and since then it has come alive and developed a copper film on top of the vat, standing on the warm bench of our mass oven. The recipe is from here; and it goes as follows:
· 50 grams of finely ground indigo
· 28 grams finely ground madder root
· 28 grams regular old wheat bran (I made it by milling and sifting some grain of wheat)
· 170 grams washing soda
After mixing the ingredients and placing the bucket (with lid) a warm place, all you have to do is gently stirring once a day.
Some of the initial testings - oh, the possibilities, I'm so looking forward to play with this ...