My treat this week was time to set up an indigo dye vat. While I was looking for something else on Sunday, I found some “instant” indigo I picked up a while back but hadn’t tried it yet. I had fabric I wanted to dye for holiday gifts, and it didn’t take long for me to decide that everyone would like blue. Hear that, everyone?
|Indigo dye vat from recycled water jug|
Of course, if I bought the sodium hydrosulfite I needed when I bought the indigo, I couldn’t find it. So I called Dharma for advice. They are lovely people, and always so helpful. The woman I spoke with suggested a substitute I might be able to find locally — Rit Color Remover.
She also told me that the Rit product is already mixed with soda ash — really good to know, so I didn’t add more. I did some advanced (for me) algebra to convert the proportions for a 5 gallon container to a 3 gallon container (that’s the 12,000 ml on the jug), and guessed on the quantity of Color Remover. Four packages of the stuff did the job, and I might have gotten away with less.
I mixed up the vat on Monday afternoon, and let it rest overnight. Monday night I scoured fabric and did some simple twisted and tied resists and one simple clamped resist. Tuesday I was ready to dye.
Dyeing went really fast. At one point Bill came out to see how this works. I stuck a handful of pink crochet roses into the vat for about five seconds. When they came out, he got to see them go from green to blue in a matter of seconds.
Since I don’t have running water in my studio, I haul stuff to the house for rinsing and washing. I managed not to drip dye on the hardwood floor while heading to the laundry tub in the basement. Whew.
After a whole lot of rinsing, washing and ironing, here are the results.
In addition to a whole bunch of fabric, I also overdyed some crochet UFOs, quilt blocks and cotton yarn given to me last summer by a friend of my sister-in-law.
Today I found one more thing I meant to dye. Last summer, I had a bit of walnut dye left in the bottom of a mason jar after a solar dye experiment. I shoved a pre-made canvas tote bag into the jar (no scouring, no presoaking — just wadded and shoved). I think I remembered to take it out a couple days later, but it might have been sooner or later. Anyway, I hung it up to dry and haven’t done a thing to it since. Here’s what it looked like after the walnut dye but before overdying with indigo.
I’ll post a photo of the bag after the indigo overdye next time.
One last picture for today: My husband just made me a new rolling design “wall.” It’s like Christmas came early.