Saturday, April 22, 2006

Indigo Dyeing mystifies me, because of it's history and also for the length of time it takes to prepare. The dyehappy group on yahoo has been having an interesting discussion on dyeing, what else, that has inspired me and also lead me to check out some of the participants sites. Cheryl Kolander 's site, , is full of exciting techniques and things to buy. She describes a method of preparing indigo that doesn't require lye, so we thought we'd try it for dyeing at Woolbearers.

Indigo is mixed with wheat germ, madder and soda ash in three gallons of warm water and then kept warm for one week. Being careful not to incorporate air into the bath, skeins of wetted yarn are slowly placed into the bath, squished around, and then brought out, squeezed, and placed on newspaper. Successive dips darken the color. We mixed up our vat last evening so I'm expecting to dye next weekend. This just thrills me. I usually want things done yesterday, and the idea that I'm having to wait is not making me as crazy as I thought it would. Cheryl writes that the process is meditative, and I agree.

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