Sunday, August 21, 2011

True Blue

Just a note: though Tini is going to move, my humble self is still in the business. Though I am quite occupied, but whenever there is an order coming up, I surely will fulfill your wishes and ship any yarn your heart desires.

Now back to the topic! Since I have a small garden now (and own the book "A Dyer's Garden" by Rita Buchanan for even a while longer), I finally could go and grow indigo and dye with it. The indigo dyeing can be a smelly and lengthly process, using a fermented soup which includes urine, but Buchanan describes a fast method with fresh leaves, and using spectralite and no urine. I had to order the spectralite in Britan, which took a strangely long time to arrive. I did not use "real" indigo, but polygonium tinctorium (japanese indigo or dyer's knotweed) but that has the same color pigment as indigofera tinctoria. I had started the seeds in spring in a small greenhouse, and later I planted them to a sunny garden patch and crossed my fingers that they will grow readily. To my delight, they did so! Now they even start to flower which makes me hope to harvest some seeds later that year. Here they are in their green beauty:

I just cut off around 90% of it, I just left the stems with the most evolved flowers. It is said that it will regrow readily so I maybe can dye with it again later that year. I picked all the leaves from the stems and started the extraction process. Until now it looks good, I have a liquid which seems to be of a dark green, but there are several more steps to follow. I will keep you posted on the results!

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