The left side was covered and not exposed, right side was exposed to the light. I wanted to dye a couple of pieces of fabric - some bamboo silk fabric (it's satin fabric that looks like silk but is vegan) and a small swatch of organic cotton muslin. I freely admit that I don’t understand, chemically, why the colors change with the temperature: I have always suspected that the lightfastness of the fresh leaf indigo dye is not to the same level as the color obtained from a well reduced indigo vat. Tipping the first, deep yellow extraction bath into a separate pot, a froth of indigo bloomed on the surface and as I pressed it inside the colander, I saw the net bag of leaves had been dyed pale blue. Then I took the leaves off the stems and weighed them. For my first attempt, I used 50 grams of dried leaves to dye 3 100-gram skeins of wool. The timing had to be just right, and Jenny Balfour-Paul writes in “Indigo, Egyptian Mummies to Blue Jeans” that the indigo farmers referred to the packing of the leaves as “putting the baby to bed”. I let it sit until the temperature was 40-50 C, then strained the leaves out. The fabric is a hemp and organic cotton blend, and I pretreated it in soya milk (the method is in my book Botanical Colour at your Fingertips). ( Log Out /  I dipped a 100-gram skein of wool 3 times, and it turned a nice teal. Fee structures for the symposium have been completely re-vamped in order to make this event accessible to all – no matter where in the world you might be. It is mid october and mine are still out there, blue on the plants, after two hard frosts. I understand that once the plants flower, the amount of indigo in the leaves is past the peak. The traditional way of indigo dyeing is to ferment the leaves, but since I have only a few handfuls of leaves I thought I'd try out a quicker method using fresh leaves. When the temperature was 40-50 C, I put the pot on gentle heat to stay at that temperature. One of the most exciting upcoming events is this year’s Textile Society of America Symposium: Hidden Stories: Human Lives. The heat releases the indigo rubin in the leaves. PS: I’m growing Japanese indigo again this year. I love hearing about what you’re up to. The main change is that I didn’t discard the yellow dye, so I get a green-teal instead of blue. I then scrunched the leaves in my hands and the leaves began to shrink immediately and within a few seconds there was frothy green juice dripping out of my hand. It was now or never! The end result were composted leaves that contained a higher percentage of indigo than the fresh ones. In living leaves, the indican is primarily found in a compartment within the cell called the vacuole (shown by a Japanese team of researchers in this paper). The ambient temperature dyebath produced a lovely clear turquoise blue color on the raffia. I added 5 grams of sodium dithionite and about 1 tablespoon sodium carbonate. Three years ago, the trip to Madagascar taught me about an approach to dyeing that I had never seen before –  truly one of the gems of travel. Here, our elegant model – my sister – shows the […]. Once reduced, I always have dyed with the fresh leaves, too, just decided to try and find a way to use the leftovers. The traditional way of indigo dyeing is to ferment the leaves, but since I have only a few handfuls of leaves I thought I'd try out a quicker method using fresh leaves. I added 1 teaspoon of table salt to the leaves in the bowl. My last vat was not exhausted, it had turned dark the next day because the indigo had been oxidized. When heat was applied, the color deepened and shifted. People who only grow a few plants (like I do) have to find a different method. Farvning med tørrede blade af japansk indigo – Midgaards Have. I have had the same results using dried indigo leaves mixed with hot water. Then, I simmered the vat for 15-20 minutes. When I inquired about it, both Hisako and Dominique Cardon indicated that they were both familiar with this phenomenon. This also makes sense when thinking about this failed experiment where I kept leaves lukewarm for a longish time. This biennial event brings together scholars, curators, and artists from all over the world who will present their original research in the form of organized panels and talks. I'm going to try to grow some plants indoors over the winter. 50 grams of dried leaves gave nice color to 300 grams of yarn, and 25 g gave a brighter color to 100 grams of yarn. Many of us are growing indigo in our gardens right now and have likely had the pleasure of experimenting with fresh leaf indigo dyeing on silk. Change ). I've heard the "salt rub" method mentioned a lot over these past few months and found this helpful blog post and video which I used as a guide. Afterwards, I started thinking that the vat may have gone wrong because the temperature was too low. To dye blue, the first water should be discarded and new water poured on the leaves. 1 teaspoon worked just fine for my small amount of leaves. I have had the same experience when using with green dried indigo leaves in my low impact method. As I was harvesting Persicaria tinctoria leaves in the garden, I was reminded of the fresh leaf indigo dyeing that we saw being done in Madagascar. In traditional Japanese dyeing with Japanese indigo, the harvested leaves were composted (fermented) in a very specific way, sprinkling the leaf mass with water and turning it over. That lead to no recipe, but the result was completely fine. Having read about it on Deb McClintock’s page, I decided to dry my Japanese indigo leaves last year. Both had been pretreated with soya milk using my usual method shown in my book. Soon we will have a frost and it will be too late... A couple of the plants are beginning to flower. I harvested the first leaves on September 17. this year, and they are drying. I can’t really see any difference between them, and that means the light fastness rivals that of indigo blue. I’m impressed by the dye content of the leaves. I carried on massaging and scrunching the leaves into the fabric for about half an hour until there was no more juice. I did not do that, so I kept the yellows from the leaves. Every time the leaf mass was turned over, sacrifices of rice wine were made to Aizen Shin, the god of indigo. Hope to see you there! The water in the sink was a bright green and the fabric seems even bluer now than before washing it. I decided to put the stalks into a jar of water. They look even bluer than the ones from last year…. Heh, not sure why my ipad did the silly caps thing. Here, the meaning of the word precursor is a molecule that can undergo some reaction(s) that produce indigo. “Raffia is almost pure lignin” she said. I'm not certain if the soybean protein makes a difference to the way the fabric takes up the indigo, but the pretreated fabric was ready and waiting to be dyed so that's what I used.

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