Hey, dear all,
I'd like to share my handcraft experience with natural indigo dying.
Based on the Shibori technics, I dyed different types of organic cotton and linen fabrics.
First I had to prepare the dying bath, using natural indigo pigments. I chose to do a fully natural dye bath. So I reduced the indigo powder into a hot tap water + alcohol 90° solution. Then I mixed this solution A to the dying bath prepared with fructose, quicklime and water heated at 50°C during 1h.
While I let the dying bath waiting, I prepared the fabrics. After cutting, I used different Shibori folding technics, in order to obtain different patterns after the dying process. One last step but very important one, I soaked the fabrics into a water bath before dying it, as it helps the dye to penetrate into the fabrics.
Once everything was ready, I simply soaked the fabrics into the dying bath avoiding at thé maximum to introduce air into the bath. At first I let them only five minutes. Then I repeated the bath with some fabrics, whereas with some others I juts let them into the bath for 20 minutes, or even more. The more the fabrics stayed into the bath, the darker the color became. Later after my experiments, I read that it is actually better to make several baths of 5 min, and let the oxydation happens between two baths, instead of doing only one bath during 20 min. You would get a more intense color with several baths.
After the dying bath, I rinse the fabrics with water in order to let the oxydation of the indigo pigment happens. And the magic appeared. The fabrics which were actually a bit yellow/green (quite ugly I have to admit) started to turn into a perfect intense blue indigo!
Here are some pics took during the dying process and the results of my dying!