Indigo is a dye different from any other. It is dyed through a living fermentation process that does not require any mordant.
The process “reduces” the Indigo, changing it from blue to yellow. In this state, it dissolves in an alkaline solution. The fiber is worked in the solution, or “vat.” When brought out to the air, it is a bright green. Slowly the air changes it to the beautiful deep and rich blue of Indigo.
Ultra Indigo is the best for Darkest Blues and “Midnight”. 50% Indigotin! Twice as strong as our regular indigo. From the renewed Indigo production of small farms in El Salvador.
Indigo in some form is used in all traditional cultures as it is the only clear and fast natural blue. Indigo dyeing was one of the first speciality professions. It is easy to keep a home pot going, and most colonial homesteads had one. This recipe is the one most recommended for home dyeing. It contains no harsh chemicals nor toxic metals. It can be used to dye any natural fiber.
An additional beauty of dark Indigo is that when ironed or pounded, the blue cloth takes on a beautiful coppery sheen – the same sheen that is seen on the well reduced Indigo vat, when it is ready for dyeing. You can see this in the picture to the left.
“Most natural dye work is like boiling an egg – ultra simple once you understand the basic concept. Indigo dyeing is like making bread. So follow the recipe carefully and expect that it will take a little time before it becomes second nature.”
You can read more about Indigo and the Natural Fermentation Vat. Our Natural Fermentation Indigo Kit takes you through the process step by step. Note, Cheryl’s current vat, pictured above, is over 20 years old. It is recharged with Indigo every few weeks and never discarded.
Warning: Only use chopped Madder and not Madder Extract in the Indigo fermentation vat because the extraction process heats the madder thus destroying the fermenting enzyme.