In this series of three classes you will learn a bit of chemistry behind the magic of the indigo dye pot and learn four different methods of getting color from indigo: the chemical vat, fructose and henna vats and the fresh ice water bath. Each class will go over the essential components and the challenges and advantages of each method. We will dye on a variety of substrates in each class. At the end of the series you will have an excellent grounding in indigo dyeing and have several options to call upon for using this amazing dye.
Session1: The chemistry of indigo: An overview of reduction and oxidation, pH: what it means, how to measure and regulate. Soluble vs insoluble and the chemical composition of different substrates. We will then make up a vat using -urea dioxide as our reducing agent. We will dye samples of wool, silk and cotton. Instructor: Joyce Tromba
Session 2 Fresh indigo is not your grandma’s reduction vat; anyone whose mother will allow them to use a blender can do this. It requires no chemicals for turquoise, and only soda ash and rubbing alcohol for pink/lavender. It is not a vat at all, and for turquoise we will use only ice water and a blender. We will use freshly picked Japanese indigo leaves to dye silk. This dye bath does not work on cotton, but we will do a variation of leaf pounding on cotton. Instructor: Eileen Hallman
Session 3: We will go over the process and materials needed to start and maintain the organic indigo vat. We will sample with a few different types of resist techniques and dye our cotton fabrics in a vat. Instructor: Melanie Wilder
Materials fee: 15.00 for the series, which includes indigo, other reagents, samples of wool, silk and cotton, handouts and cards to keep track of your samples.