We have been working on some swatches. Making lots of over dye swatches with beautifully knitted fibers. Checkout http://www.admknitting.com/ who we have collaborated with on the swatches.
Tag Archives: indigo
On May 14, we are part of another show. This one is jewelry specific; The Arc of Hunterdon County Jewelry show. We will be selling our Apothecary necklaces filled with old dyestuff. Come if you can!
These apothecary necklaces are filled with indigo pigment. The pigment settles at the bottom and separates from the rest of the liquid. When stirred or shaken it becomes much like a mini indigo vat. A real vat must be stirred each day.
We recently started selling on Etsy. If you go to the shop bar above the link is also there.
There are still companies that do woad-indigo dyeing. Woad creates the indigo pigment and it is considered by some to be a weed. Its origin is from England; Tender Co. celebrates woad in its native environment. Tender Co. works with Woad-Inc. in Norfolk to do the actual dyeing.
Woad is not quite as strong as the indigo plant. You need more of the plant to dye with and often an increased number of dips for a darker blue. Because it is often looked upon as a weed (particularly in the U.S.), it is easy to pull and make your neighbors happy.
The Hillside is now working with Tender Co. to produce a woad-dyed cloth.
Kiki Brown and I traveled down to Nashville to visit the ladies I interned with last year, they were known as ASK Apparel, but are starting to become strictly an eco-dye service called Artisan Natural Dyeworks. Kiki and I had worked on a project together in which we learned the process of turning the invasive plant Kudzu into a fiber while eradicating it without the use of herbicides. Ali and Sarah of ASK Apparel and Kiki and I decided to lead a workshop in Nashville showing the process of Kudzu processing and indigo processing. The indigo processing was particularly important for me to witness and learn as I have not made indigo into a stored pigment before. It was a well worth experience and everyone involved in the workshop was wonderful to work with!!
We began by harvesting the plant. The variety of indigo that Ali and Sarah grew was mostly Japanese Indigo.
We soaked the plant and then added pickling lime to extract the blue pigment.
The pigment begins to settle at the bottom of the container, while the liquid on top can be disposed of.
Throughout the workshop we did many indigo dye experiments including wrapping, tying, and pounding leaves.
We were able to dye thread. The thread on the right side is kudzu thread.
The thread comes from the vine of the Kudzu plant. The kudzu leaves can be eaten and are 24% protein. There are numerous recipes for the leaf and also for making a medicine or starch with the root. For eradicating the plant (as it can grow up to a foot a day) Kiki and I described the crown removal process in which you dig and cut the roots/vines of the plant from the crown. This is a much more environmentally friendly way of getting rid of the plant than to spray it with herbicides. It is a bit more labor intensive on its own, but if one uses the vine to make something out of it while cutting out the root crown, it is possible that it could be efficient.
The process is fairly simple. The fresh vine is boiled and then set under a tarp. Basically the thread is the length of the vine and just pulls away along down the vine.
Kiki is in purple peeling the kudzu thread. Below, we experimented dyeing the thread. It was a green/blue color.
Here’s the group. We had a fun time, the workshop was a full two days but went by so fast!!!
The Philly Swap event was held in the Urban Outfitter’s Naval yard space early October. We had a stand at the event to describe and demo the indigo vat process. We made small swatch bracelets and also had some marigolds being boiled to describe a non vat related dye. It was a great experience!!!
Mira and I worked the station next door to the printmakers.