Indigo Dye Challenge Vol.2

July 21, 2017

Indigo Dye Challenge Vol.2

Hello! This is Mushi from Yin Yang Kyoto again!

A week has passed since seeding, and sprouts can be seen coming out from the seeds!

The small cotyledon is about 3 cm tall now, and its leaves are the size of rice grains.

When it grows to a height of 10 cm, we will replant it in a wider area.

A lot of water and fertilizers are needed for growing the indigo plant, I've had to water the plant twice a day. Giving the indigo plant ample nutrition and treating it carefully makes the leaves greener, and the end result will be a more vibrant and beautiful shade of blue. I am making sure to watch over its growth and take care of it every day for it to grow strong.

At the end of summer, we had trimmed off the leaves of the plants. They grew out again and we trimmed them again, and finally the flowers have bloomed and seeds are harvested.


Fun facts

When we want a lighter shade of blue, we use raw leaves in the summer, which produce a fresh aqua color. When we want to use the dye throughout the year, we dry the leaves and decoct it to get a blue color. When we want to keep the dye for a longer time and want a darker shade of blue, we use fermented indigo leaves.

There are many types of indigo dyeing with a large variety of colors.

Almost all botanical dyeing processes involve using a fixing agent to make the color pigments stay on cloth. However, using indigo dyes, this is not necessary as when the dye is exposed to air, it naturally changes to an insoluble pigment.
On the other hand, all botanical dye colors will dissolve if we leave them in water for too long because they are just pigments holding on to the surface of fiber clothes. This is different from chemical dyeing.

So, when you wash naturally-dyed products, please wash them quickly and dry them in the shade so that the color can stay on for a longer time.

I will update the growth of the leaves again next time.

I hope you enjoy my indigo dye journey.