I’ve signed up for an online indigo workshop with Shibori Girl (aka Glennis Dolce). Glennis posts videos and instructions online, and we have a shared blog where we can post photos of our results and ask questions – there’s no shortage of those!
I’m learning fast that there’s a lot more to indigo dyeing than I thought. For a start, there are numerous different types of indigo vat. The one I’m used to using is made with pre-reduced indigo, which requires sodium hydrosulphite and washing soda and is the quickest and easiest. But others are making vats with pickling lime and fructose, or lime and iron sulphate. There are even instructions for a natural fermentation vat, which takes about a week to ferment.
I’ve also been used to working with a very strong vat that dyes a very dark blue (which I do like). But our first exercise is to create a set of swatches ranging from pale to dark blue, and this requires great dilution of the traditional recipe sent out by indigo suppliers. Apparently these proportions give instant results, which tyros like me want. 😉 But to get more sophisticated designs I need to get accustomed to dipping more than once.
So here’s my first set of swatches, using light cotton calico.
More to come!