online indigo workshop with Glennis Dolce, and I am having a blast. I still don't really understand the exact chemistry behind this dye process, but I love the instant gratification of dipping the cloth into the vat, pulling it out 2 minutes later and watch it turn from yellowish green to blue in an instant. Magical.
I am working with two vats - one is a pre-reduced natural indigo vat, and the other is a 1-2-3 vat originating from French indigo dyer Michel Garcia. The pre-reduced vat involves using both soda ash and thiox (color remover) and I am sure that the indigo crystals themselves has undergone some chemical treatment to become "reduced", so to call it natural is probably a stretch. But it does give a nice, nice blue color, especially after repeat dips. The 1-2-3 vat consists of nothing but natural indigo powder, powdered fructose, and powdered pickling lime. It was ready to use after just a few minutes, smells sweet and delicious, and dyes the loveliest pale shades of blue that builds up to a rich medium blue over time.
We are also working on some shibori techniques, such as clamping, and scrunching (my term). The scrunching creates the nice sky like pieces. And the folding and clamping is just fun, fun, fun... I am so happy to be messing with dye pots again.