Monday, September 02, 2013

Natural Indigo Vat

Working with a natural indigo vat is wonderful! I made both a weak and a strong vat in my studio. This provides me with the ability to dye a wide range of beautiful indigo blue. I love that the indigo is ready whenever I want to dye with it; however the vats do require daily attention to be sure that they are always reduced. 

This is the 3ply Paternayan tapestry yarn, with a 3, 5, and another 5 minute dip in the weak vat, from left to right.

Below is the Harrisville Highland  2ply wool with the same 3, 5, and 5 minute dips. The results are so much paler than the tapestry yarn. So I concluded that not all wools dye the same. Perhaps there is more spinning oil in this yarn than the other, despite my scouring it before dyeing it. It still is extremely beautiful. 

Using the wool yarn that I recently dyed in goldenrod, I used the weak vat to over dye the rich golden yellow in one dip of 3 minutes and a second dip of 5 minutes. I am very pleased with the results. 

I then took those same three samples and modified the colors using a warm bath with ferrous sulfate (iron) in it. The iron causes the color to become a little duller than the original. I just love this ability to dye one color of natural dye and then modify it using indigo and iron!

My last set of samples on the tapestry yarn, from left to right are:
Goldenrod, goldenrod and a 3 minutes dip in the weak indigo, goldenrod with a 3 and 5 minute dip in indigo, goldenrod and iron and goldenrod with a 3 minute indigo dip followed by iron.

Stay tuned for more experiments using both of my indigo vats!

1 comment:

Elizabeth Bennett said...

These indigo skeins are beautiful... and how interesting that the Harrisville dyed so differently. The goldenrod work was lovely as well... looking forward to seeing these weave their way into your tapestries.