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The Beauty of Natural Indigo

note: all dyework illustrated is hand dyed by Cheryl Kolander, who IS Aurora Silk (author of this manual), except the traditional Central Asian embroidery in pic 5 and the traditional Oriental carpet of pic 7

Silk Satin dyed dark blue in the Indigo Natural Fermentation “Madder – Bran” vat.

Silk Damask, patterned by varying the weave. Dyed in the Madder-Bran Natural fermentation vat to medium and lighter Blues. Compared to the bright scarlet of a ripe tomato !
Various silks dyed various depths of Blue with Indigo:
Very dark Blue 100% silk velvet; Light Blue on “Light and Bright” Tussah wild silk; a medium Blue toned by the underlying beige tan of “Pongee” Tussah wild silk;
Medium light Blue on handspun silk yarn
A cotton knit tank top “tie-dyed” in the Indigo Natural Fermentation Madder-Bran vat
Traditional embroidery from Central Asia. Dyed in their ancient method of Natural Fermentation Indigo vat. Collected in Khiva, Uzbekistan by Cheryl in 2009, purchased from the embroiderer after visiting the traditional dyeworks.
Shawl in many Indigo Blues and Greens, on dark beige Tussah wild silk yarn. Designed and handwoven by Cheryl ca. 2005.
A fabulously exotic and unbelievably rare “Star Ushak” traditional Oriental carpet. This fragment was part of a once huge carpet in the palace of the Queen Mother of Brunei, which is a small independent country on the northwest coast of the Indonesian island of Borneo. Cheryl was commissioned to match the carpet’s yarns and colors of light Indigo, dark Indigo, Madder Red, soft Gold and natural, so that a reproduction could be authentically woven.
What the top of a well reduced Natural Fermentation Vat Indigo looks like. The sheen is very coppery.
An Indigo Tie-dye party. Outside in the garden and having fun. Apprentice Nyla and guests. ca. 2008
Light Blue dyed yarns hanging on a rack to air and develop the color.
White cotton pants dyed Blue in the Indigo vat
Elegant gown designed and constructed by Lindsey Pelicula
using custom variegated Indigo Blue silk dyed by Cheryl
Cheryl herself wearing her Indigo blue silk dress, blouse and gloves, with Weld Yellow silk scarf. On way to perform a friend’s wedding.
Indigo blue on silk, this bandanna provides a double layer of protection against air pollution. A tight weave
and the electrostatic properties of silk and of Indigo means it is an excellent barrier for “Corona” type virus as well.
Hemp, wildcrafted and handwoven in Nepal, the Himalayas, which is where the cultivated hemp plant originated. Each shade of the Indigo represents one more immersion in the vat, with airing after. The block prints on the outfit Cheryl is wearing are her designs.
Mottled Indigo, light, on matte Ahimsa spun Peace silk, looks like clouds in the sky. Dyed by Cheryl in her special “Ultra” vat, which gives the clearest and fastest light Blues.
Cheryl in her traveling outfit: a loose over-dress and comfortable light weight pants. Indigo dye provides protection against all types of infectious microbes including fungi, bacteria and viruses. The colour also helps calm the nerves, for better relaxation and meditation. Photo at the Ellora, India Buddhist caves. 2006
Cheryl in another traveling outfit of Indian grown and hand woven “Khadi” cotton, dyed dark Indigo. Inner dress dyed with Cochineal; scarf dyed with Madder. Photographed at an ancient temple in the complex named “N’ga Wen”, near Borobudur, Java, Indonesia By coincidence “N’ga Wen Lamo” is Cheryl’s Buddhist practitioner name, bestowed by her Root Guru, Jetsun Kushok Chimey Luding, the female head of the Sakya lineage, a direct descendant of Sakyamuni Buddha. It means “Teacher of the Powerful Voice”
while Cheryl likes to joke “Yeah: Teacher with the Big Mouth”.
Indigo silk makes a lovely frame for this traditional “Thanka” painting of the Buddhist Spirit Guide “White Tara”. White Tara has 7 eyes and sees everything. She prays and acts for all good, giving blessings to all. The practitioner strives to embody these beneficial
principles in her life. This Thanka was painted in Nepal by a Buddhist priest. All the pigments are from natural earths and dyes, thus they are well matched by the silks dyed with Indigo, Madder and Cochineal.
Indigo Dark Blue dyed Silk with edging of Osage Yellow and Madder Red creates a carefully finished frame for this antique Thanka, or Buddhist prayer banner. Dyework and finishing, including the Yellow cover (hanging off the back) that covers the painting so it may be safely rolled up during transport, completed by Cheryl in about 1995. The Spirit Guardian represented is Manjushri, the embodiment of Wisdom, with a book of
Knowledge emerging from a Lotus in his left hand, and the Flaming Sword of Wisdom is in his right.
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