Got the blues?

Harvested all my japanese indigo (Polygonum tinctorum), it was rather limp and old I think, took a bit to get the vats looking properly. But here’s the result, with various overdyed yellows as well. Both wool, silk and some of my failed cotton skeins, more about those later…





Today is the last good weather for a while they say, so I really should get started on the woad!

Japansk indigodanish

Som før nævnt er jeg lidt sent ude med at få brugt mine blå planter pga alle de andre eksperimenter jeg har lavet i sommer.

Men nu fik jeg da høstet al min indigo og det lykkedes også til sidst at få lidt farve ud af den, selvom det ikke opførte sig helt som det plejer. Der er både uld, silke og et par af mine håbløse bomuldsfed, som jeg fortæller om en anden dag.

15 thoughts on “Got the blues?

  1. They’re all just beautiful! Especially the third photo, they look slight multicolour (or is it just the way the photo looks), what fibre are they?

    I did my first harvest some weeks ago, and the second/final harvest should probably be done soon. I haven’t yet had a chance to try dyeing with it, but I do have an left-over woad vat from last year which I intend to try and revive first, just to see if it can be done.

    1. The third photo is of the cotton skeins that I’ve had a hell of a time to get to take up some colour. So yes, the previous layer is coming through, as they also have not taken the blue evenly. I wonder if it’s been treated with something, because the cotton ties I use for the wool dye up better! I’ll make a post of all my struggles when I’m done with them. I guess I can make something really rustic from them, baskets perhaps.

      1. You can stop after the extraction phase, i.e. at the stage you have added your alkali and whisked the solution to turn it into indigo. Some people recommend using a preservative (forgotten which one but it is mentioned in Jenny Dean’s Wild Colour) to keep this liquid for a longer period, but last year my woad solution lasted for a good few months without any preservative, so I am trusting my Japanese indigo will be ok too. Alternatively you can of course evaporate the liquid and keep it in a powder format but I’ve never tried that.

    1. For now they go into the “plant dyed yarn box”. I’m sampling and comparing and building a library with notes and once I’m done to some extent, I plan to either tapestry weave with them or make other non-clothing items. Got a couple of pin cushion wips for instance.

  2. Lovely blues!!!
    I wonder what happened to the cotton. They look like what has happened the two times I have set up a woad dye pot. I get blue and it looks like everything is working but the the dye doesn’t stick or just sticks in small areas. The last vat I got thoroughly frustrated with.
    I really get the blues when I dye with woad but my yarns do not ; (

    1. Yes, the blues are so tricky. I haven’t progressed past the hydrosulphite vat yet, I’d hate to spend weeks on it for nothing. (also I don’t think I can get G to pee in a bucket)

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