Fresh Indigo

On the weekend I had a short one-on-one workshop with Amanda (@theweaversworkroom on Insta) on dyeing with fresh indigo leaves. It was a lot of fun, first beating leaves with a mallet onto cloth to make imprints:

I brought two long-sleeved t-shirts I’d picked up on sale. The leaves made only faint green marks on the first, but on the second, which I’d soaked in soy milk a few weeks ago, I got darker, bluer shapes. I intend to do more printing with the indigo I’m growing from seed Amanda sold last year.

Next we tried the salt rub method.

The lefthand skein is some leftover silk I’d bought. The middle yarn is commercial wool yarn. The rightmost skein is some silk handspun. We got good colour from the method, especially on the wool.

Lastly we tossed lots of indigo in a blender and strained the juice before dyeing some of Amanda’s yarn, and then I tossed in the first t-shirt I’d dyed to get a nice pale duck-egg blue solid colour overall.

It was a lovely morning that felt as much like play as a lesson thanks to Amanda’s enthusiasm and generosity. I’m definitely going to be doing more fresh leaf dyeing… after my indigo recovers from the scorching heat the following day. So far it’s looking much happier so maybe I’ll get some dyeing done next weekend.

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