Indigo Dye Vat Collection, Pre Reduced Indigo, Henna, and Lime
Dyeing fibre with indigo is a magical experience. Gently heat your indigo vat ingredients in water and watch the bath turn from blue to pale greenish yellow as the oxygen is removed. Dip your fibres in and watch them change from greenish yellow to indigo blue as they get exposed to oxygen and the colour is fixed to the fibre. I never get tired of seeing the transformation!
This kit includes: 10g of pre reduced indigo 20g of henna 30g of lime (calcium hydroxide) Each comes in a glass jar.
All you need is water, natural fibres of your choice, and a pot to get an indigo vat going!
Although no mordant is needed for indigo dyeing, indigo must be combined with something to increase the pH (lime) and something to remove all the oxygen from the dye vat (henna). This will allow the indigo to become water soluble and adhere to the fibre.
10g of indigo (along with 20g of henna and 30g of lime) will dye ~1200g of fibre a pale to medium shade and 600g fibre a medium to dark shade.
As with most natural dyes, the colours will be stronger on protein fibres such as wool or silk. Indigo on cellulose fibres like cotton and linen tend to be paler and more subdued. Synthetic fibres tend not to take up natural dyes.
Equipment and Safety
Pre mix each dye vat ingredient in small containers of water to avoid lumps. Always add powder to liquid, not liquid to powder (to prevent powder from flying everywhere). Wear gloves and an apron to avoid staining your hands and clothes. Always dye in a well ventilated area and use separate pots and utensils from your cooking pots.
* This listing only includes the packets of natural dyestuff and instruction. It does not include the yarn pictured, which is shown to give an idea of possible colours).