Prepping For Indigo Dyeing

Natural indigo is the substance used to produce the beautiful blues in our knit pieces.

Dyeing with indigo always takes a little bit of planning. First, the wool or fabric in which you are planning to dye needs to be scoured; this helps to remove any substances that may prohibit the dye from taking evenly. Next, in the dyeing procedure I work with, a stock solution needs to be created. I always do this the day before dyeing to insure the solution has time to reduce.

In the jar in the picture is the un-reduced indigo stock solution. As the solution reduces it will become clear and a yellowish color. This solution will be used tomorrow, in combination with a much larger amount of water, a tiny bit of lye, thiourea dioxide, and a touch of soap, to create the indigo dye vat.

Natural dyeing, and dyeing by hand, are processes that require a lot of time, care and attention, however watching the dyes transform the yarn and fabric makes the work all worthwhile.

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