Thursday, 9 August 2012

indigo experiment No 1

My indigo plants are looking quite healthy, after struggling through the
weird weather during the spring and summer.    Since the plants can be
harvested and will put on new growth I just had to start experimenting
with different ways to extract the indigo and make a vat.

the leaves were picked and weighed

shredded and added to water, with white vinegar

strained through muslin - and, being mindful
of not using domestic equipment, I found
Ben's fishing net did the business

cotton soaked for two hours


light mint

The process took about four hours.    It is a delicate colour.  I read
somewhere that the plant has to go through the heat of summer
for the colour to come.  Ha!    


I wrapped the sieving cloth around a copper pipe
it is now sitting in a jar filled with liquid from the vat
 I'll let it brew for a few days in the hot conservatory


indigocarole said...

Hi Tiggy. I'm curious about this method and wonder if it would work with my woad plant, which is looking very healthy. Did you use hot or cold water and what proportion of white vinegar to the weight of leaves? I've loads of books on indigo and this is completely new to me, so I hope you don't mind me asking. Thanks

Tiggy Rawling said...

Hi there. Not too sure on this way of making a vat.
It was cold/chilled water. Didn't seem right. However, the next experiment will be using Jenny Dean's recipe.
Her book, Wild Colour, has an excellent recipe for woad. I will follow her instructions, and branch off for the indigo vat details.