It’s only now living in upstate NY I have “land”. & others saying you will have to toss it down the drain & start over again after about 6 months time. Check the ph, the normal range for dying cotton is between 10-12. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Rinse until water is clear. I decided to start with a dye recipe from one of the workshops I took, which contained vague details at best. It’s amazing I’d resort to that since I’m very conscious of chemicals but it was on hand surprisingly and it was mentioned in Jenny Deans instruction. Never put dry henna straight into the vat. Shake for 2 minutes. With Michel Garcia’s 1-2-3 henna vat recipe, you’ll use 1 part indigo, 2 parts lime, and 3 parts henna. I had dyed the yarn for my Cosmonaut scarves, which is the reason it’s an indigo hit-and-miss. Endless wonderings on my part. I’m sure it’s much more than my two 4’x8′ plots at the community garden! This photograph displays the indigo molecule in multiple forms. Photo Courtesy: Anu Ravi, Detail of the vat. But I have been ‘under the gun’ with an order for an indigo scarf (of Merino wool) and want to get it finished.

I’ll definitely be looking that up and mention you! You’re very welcome! The fabric is pre-wetted, then dipped in the vat for ten to fifteen minutes and hung up to oxidize the dye. This very pale blue was enough to move forward with my weaving project and I left with a sense that, “I know nothing, Krista Snow.”. I’ve stopped praying and crossing my fingers when I heat it up again. They were trading one length of cloth in exchange for one body.”. I was asked why a henna indigo vat stripped the color from a previously fiber reactive dyed cotton cloth. The pH registers (this time) as 10. many different materials. In the book Indigo, Catherine McKinley states that in Africa, indigo “was used literally as a currency. I’ve actually never tried a vat with chemicals, so no eye rolls here! The vat I made is with sodium hydroxide (roll your eyes, it’s okay). It might look really dirty so rinsing in cold water will bring out the cleaner, brighter blue. You probably get pH11 which is alkaline. Thank you so much in advance. I realized it’s only since things have gone wrong that I’m hyper-attentive to the process now. Thank you so much for the above information – I have been using my henna/indigo vat for about 6 months now with generally good results, but plenty of questions, so this type of practical information is invaluable. If it’s a cold vat, no need to think about it. I’d give it a little more time before admitting defeat just yet. I’m growing cotton too this year and I’m the city I think I’d have one pot for that Good thing there’s extract, right? I’ve ruined several vats (I’m sure) by having them too hot.

It’s too cold to keep it outside and I just can’t deal with it in my basement any longer lol. Success! Using fructose and builders lime as the recipe asks. I tried an iron vat and still received the same dull, washed-out blue. Intuitively, it would seem to be harsh on the structure of the wool fibre. There are also things to add to help the fiber…I just haven’t got there yet! I read it needs to be hotter like 90-100 and We’ll I’m not heating that up in my kitchen haha. Photo courtesy: Anu Ravi, Yoshiko stirring the vat in a forceful circular motion.
I say the temperature is right ” if you put your finger in it and it’s hot enough that you don’t want to stay there.”. I know that Kathy Fromm Botanical Colors has some Q&A on fridays on her Instagram, maybe someone has already asked this? Toning down the orange / red / copper tone henna leaves on our hair is one of the main concerns every woman has as soon as she starts using henna and herbal hair dyes. ( Log Out /  What kind of indigo vat did you make and what ratios did you use? Where do you live? The cloth is oxidized after each dip in the vat.

Lots of indigo in the vat but don’t want to ruin the lovely Merino wool. Science is what turns me on – not this guessing stuff. My first experiences with indigo that peaked my interest were a bit how I imagine Oz seems to look from the outside. ( Log Out /  You can dip it cold or warm, but I try to recreate the initial vat situation (boiling water warmth). Change ), […] 1-2-3 method; the other one with lye (sodium hydroxide)—we got our hands really, deeply blue. Since we receive a lot of queries regarding the making and maintenance of an natural indigo vat, we asked two experts who have worked extensively with Michel Garcia to respond.. I would suggest trying one way and perfecting it as much as you can. Good luck!! Once I began my own trials, however, it was much more like going behind the scenes and meeting the Wizard behind it all. Also, a lot of screaming could be heard from my apartment. This syrup can be used in lieu of / along with  water that you want to make the vat with. When did you make it? Add indigo to a small jar with a handful of marbles. I mainly start the vat off correctly and don’t mess with it too much. Add henna to a larger jar and mix with enough boiling water that it becomes the consistency of split pea soup. Looming Jane does a nice job describing our Garcia bio-vat […]. I choose the all-in-one pot. By 1897, indigo was synthesized by German chemists, which brought about an era of mass produced synthetic indigo. I suggest you take a class from her, Elin Noble, Sara Goodman, Ana Lisa Hedstrom , Barbara Shapiro or me who have studied with Michel Garcia and continue to practice it with depth of knowledge required for natural dyeing. First things first, my vats usually last around 6 months, mainly because my stainless pot isn’t huge, and when I revive it, more water is added with the henna. I have pre-reduced indigo powder so would the quantities be the same and can I omit the marbles? After letting the cloth dry overnight, the pattern threads are removed the next morning. Its roots can be traced to India, and indigo became extremely valuable  as a result of the African slave trade.

Cross fingers! ( Log Out / 

( Log Out /  and to dye an even shade. 3- 300gm> Fructose. it is fine with plant fiber materials, but not for wool. Hi Katheen, Thanks for the message. I, of course, didn’t believe I succeeded until after I tried washing it all out. You may wait until the vat gets used and pH lowers to pH10 or pH9 if you want to use wool. I’m sure if you were maintaining it properly, it could last “indefinitely.” Also, alot of lime build up on the bottom + small pot might interfere with a larger project, etc. I started a new vat with a gallon of spring water, used henna instead of fructose and followed his instructions explicitly. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account.

Change ). Work out those clumps! If the vat is too hot or theres a rapid change in temp with the wool, that may have an effect on the hand. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
It can be dipped as many time as needed to achieve the desired shade. You can either do a small jar with all of the vat-goodness and later transfer to a pot to dip, or you can start in the pot you later dip in. Always do a tester first. This is huge. 4- Temperature around 60C is good but it can bear up to 80C. It is more challenging to dye with indigo, because it is not soluble in water and must undergo a chemical change in order to bond to a fabric. I do have henna now so I’m hoping to give that a go. I add fructose after each use and additional henna when I need to boost the reduction. =). I’ll try your method it seems more friendly. Carefree. I am going to try 4 samples this morning without stirring, then stirring to see what happens. When I use henna, the “water” solution under the top is a reddish brown color, so it might be different depending on the ingredients used.