My first solo adventure in indigo dyeing

Right, so to be perfectly transparent, this blog post has been sitting in draft form since halfway through 2021, when I did the actual dyeing in February of that year. But now I've actually USED some of this yarn in pieces I'm selling, and it'd be great to have a page to link to that explains some of my process.

This was the first time I created an indigo pot all on my own. I used natural indigo purchased from Botanical Colors and did a calx/fructose extraction. 

I made up skeins of practically ANY undyed yarn I had on hand, cotton in a few weights and spins, silk-alpaca blend, 100% silk, silk-hemp, 100% alpaca, even some mystery unlabeled yarn and some pre-made scrunchies and the hem of a dress I'd just finished sewing.

pile of skeins of undyed yarn.       a bathtub full of wet yarn in beige colored water.

Of course I scoured all the fiber first. NEVER SKIP THIS STEP! You'd be surprised how much "gunk" is coating your brand new fibers - oils used in the machine spinning process and dust from factories and shipping.

I dipped each of the skeins anywhere from two times to 8 times to get the biggest variety of intensity of blues.

two 5-gallon buckets, one full of murkey greenish water, the other full of wet yarn.     a gloved hand removing teal yarn from a bucket of murkey liquid.

a clothes drying wrack draped with yarn in varying shades of blue.     a clothes line draped with skeins of yarn in varying shades of blue.

I mentioned I also dip-dyed the hem of a handwoven dress I'd just finished sewing. I am SO PLEASED with how it turned out!

a pale gray dress hanging in the sunshine, the bottom half is wet and dripping with dusky blue dye. 

I used to make myself a "birthday dress" each year, but lost track of the tradition when life got busy. This was the first year in awhile I came back to the goal, and I couldn't be happier with it. Years later, this dress is still one of my favorite handwoven, hand dyed, hand sewn garments that comes out when I feel my best.

A young(ish) woman standing holding a daffodil flower. Her short-sleeve dress fades from pale gray at the top through pale to mid to midnight blues at the hem.


I promise I wont wait two years before writing about my next adventures with indigo dyeing, and I'll make sure ALL the details get added before they're forgotten. 



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