Monthly Archives: May 2015

What to do with indigo, part I

So what am I doing with the vats? At this point I’m primarily interested in seeing how easy they are to assemble and run, and what the pH is, information that will help me to choose vat methods for dyeing projects in … Continue reading

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The Fructose 1-2-3 vat: an indigo vat for the 21st century?

Using only urine (ammonia) and natural indigo, the sig vat is perhaps the least polluting, most environmentally-sound of all the indigo vat recipes, but the need to collect and store urine, the smell, and the need for multiple dips to obtain darker … Continue reading

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That traditional sig vat: results!

We left our trusty sig vat on May 15th, hoping for a warm day that didn’t occur for another two days. But by the 17th the liquid was very definitely yellow-green although there was a lot of sediment and  particulate matter adhering … Continue reading

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How the magic works: the chemistry of blue.

The transformation from green-yellow to indigo blue that takes place before your eyes when something is removed from an indigo vat is the nearest thing to real magic that I know of. But it’s not magic, it’s chemistry, and understanding it is helpful … Continue reading

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A traditional indigo sig vat.

Oxford English Dictionary: Also seg, sigg, zig(g). Of obscure origin, the form does not correspond to older Flem. seyck, G. seiche, in the same sense. Urine. Anyone horrified by the idea of working with urine should leave the room now… Urine has … Continue reading

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Woad Fermentation Vat No. One: Day Seven.

In fact a summary of days 2–7. In pictures and words. I really, REALLY wish I could share the smell as well, as I think that’s significant, but I daresay many of you wouldn’t enjoy the, er, pungency. It’s living … Continue reading

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Woad Fermentation Vat No. One, Day One.

So it begins. Over the last couple of days I’ve been assembling and collating information about indigo, woad, and fermentation vats. I’ll post a summary in due course; today I started my first woad vat using my first ‘best guess’ for a process … Continue reading

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