Natural Indigo Extract Dyes Organic Indigofera tinctoria 50 gram

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Please Scroll down for Information on Indigo and it's recipe.

This Organic Natural Indigo extract dye is in powder form. It comes from the plant Indigofera tinctoria grown in India.

Below information is from a source I found to be the best way to explain the Indigo Vat in it's simplest way. The perfect book for natural dyeing " The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing Traditional Recipes for Modern Use by J.N.Liles

Traditional and most known old Fermentation Indigo Vat is the Urine Vat. The other popular Indigo fermentation Vat is "Appalachian Vat" I personally have done Appalachian Vat and Fructose Vat. If you plan on doing Fermentation Vat you may wonder how to maintain the heat. What I did is bought a Aquarium Heater :) It helped me maintain the temperature of 98 F degree.

Japanese and Chinese way of Indigo Vat
Ingredients used

Wheat Bran
sake or beer or none
Calcium Hydroxide
Wood ash lye

The above are list of ingredients mention in their recipe.
Sake is a rice wine popular in Japan. Beer mostly used in Chinese Vat. Occasionally they will add beer or sake residue for fermentation process. Normally its only Wheat Bran, calcium Hydroxide, Wood ash Lye, and Indigo. Wood Ash Lye from Hardwood is the best or you may buy commercially sold lye. You can also follow the Appalachian Vat which includes Madder root (powder or cut up), wheta bran, Indigo, and Soda Ash.
3 things you need for an Indigo Vat
A base (calcium hydroxide )
A Reducing Agent ( ripe fruits )

Understanding 3 things

In many parts of the world chemicals are used to quickly prepare an indigo vat. Sodium hydrosulfite or thiourea dioxide are both commonly used as reducing agents. A reducing agent removes the oxygen from a solution. In doing this, the reducing agent also takes the oxygen from the indigo molecule. With the oxygen removed, indigo becomes soluble in water at room temperature. A reducing agent is necessary to make an indigo solution. Without it the powdered indigo is suspended in water but not actually dissolved.

What is the difference between a suspension and a solution? A fish is suspended in the ocean. But salt is dissolved in the ocean. You can see the fish (which remains distinct) you cannot see the salt (which has dissolved by being broken down into separate components).

Chemically speaking, a base is the opposite of an acid. A base is a substance that will allow the action of any reducing agent.
Some bases are rather unpleasant; for example ammonia and caustic soda, while others are weak; such as soda ash and potassium carbonate. Weak bases are not very toxic - but by themselves they are inefficient.

The recommended base for an indigo vat is ordinary lime (calcium hydroxide) also known as “calx” or hydrated lime. Do not confuse it with “quick lime” (calcium oxide) which is much more corrosive, or chalk (calcium carbonate) which will not work.

Hydrating Indigo

Indigo powder always needs to be hydrated before being added to your vat. Sometimes alcohol is used to do this, but
we have found a quick and efficient way to hydrate your indigo with marbles.
Simply fill a strong plastic container 2/3 full of marbles or smooth, round stones. Add indigo powder and cover the marbles with warm water. Shake vigorously for one minute. The indigo is now hydrated. Pour the hydrated indigo into the vat while using the lid to keep the marbles in the jar. Swirl a little bit of water in the jar to wash the rest of the indigo out and into your vat

pH Level
The proper pH is 9 - 9.5 for wool and 11-11.5 for cotton. You may test the pH of the vat with a test strip. If it is too low carefully
add some more lime. If it is too high, then add some more fruit juice and wait a little, the pH will decrease. The addition of more fruit juice from time to time is recommended to keep the vat reduced. Remember, the action of dyeing will introduce oxygen into the vat. Some fruits are more acidic than others. If using very acidic fruit add more lime at the beginning until the pH is correct.

The first shades obtained from your vat will be strongest. You will increase the depth of shades by dipping more times. For very pale shades it is best to make a vat with less indigo and dip more often than to dip once in a stronger vat.

Exhausted Vats and Revived Vats
These vats may be revived until the amount of sediment becomes problematic. There is an art to reviving an indigo vat (check the pH, adjust, bring it up to temperature) and it can be satisfying to do so, but at some point it will be necessary to abandon the vat and make a fresh start.


Know your fruit
Pears work well - apples do not. Fruit stones, seeds, and pits, often contain tannin that may cause uneven dyeing or marks. Bananas are excellent but must always be peeled. Mangos and peaches work well (take out the pits) plums are not good. Grapes work well - white varieties have less tannin in the skin. Fresh figs can also be used. Remember that the purpose of the fruit is to act as a reducing agent, not to provide a colourant.

For a vat of about 15 to 20 litres
— 50 g powdered indigo
— 1 kg over-ripe fruit.
— 30 g lime (calx) calcium hydroxide)
In a saucepan, mash the fruit a little and boil in water for a few minutes. Fill a stainless steel vat 3/4 full with hot water. Filter the juice from the boiled fruits and put in the dye vat. Keep the mash. You may need it to restart or adjust the vat. If you have decided to dye with a basket, you may put all the boiled mash directly into the vat. Add hydrated indigo to the large vat. The quantity of indigo depends on the depth of shade. But for 15 liters, 50 g will give beautiful dark blues. Add the lime (calx).

Stir the vat gently. Do not whip it. You do not want air in the liquid. Wait for a few minutes. Then stir again. Repeat this three or four times. The vat will form a bronzy surface and some blue bubbles will appear. The bubbles need to become dark blue and the vat should be a yellow green. There should not be too much sediment in the body of the vat (it should have settled).

Heat until the liquid reaches 120° F / 50°C. You may then turn off the heat. Dip the fabric or yarn you intend to dye. Immerse for 15-30 minutes (up to 60 minutes for wool).

Rinse in cool water. This will expose the indigo to the oxygen that is in the water while also removing particles of dye matter.

Hang in the air in order to oxidize the indigo. It will turn from greeny-yellow to blue. Make certain this process is complete before dipping again.

A final rinse can be done with neutral soap in water. Vinegar should be added (1/2 cup per bucket) for wool.

When you are ready to dye again, check the pH of the vat. The sugar from the fruit neutralizes the action of the lime. So if necessary, carefully add more lime – a teaspoon is suitable. Check the temperature. Reheat the vat.

The Date Vat
For a vat of about 15 to 20 litres
— 75 g powdered indigo
— 90 g sodium carbonate
— 300 g chopped dates (no pits) or sweet date paste
— 250 g lime (calx) calcium hydroxide)
Prepare as with the fruit vat. This is a good vat to prepare over a three-day period. Allow the vat to reduce and come to the correct pH slowly. Remember that sugar reduces the pH so you must keep testing the pH and adding lime.

The Fructose Vat
For a vat of about 15 to 20 litres
— 20 g Natural indigo
— 60 g fructose
— 40 g lime (calx) calcium hydroxide)
Prepare as with the fruit vat

The Henna Vat
This is an easy vat to make. The method is the same as the Fruit Vat, but instead of boiling fruit you boil plant material that is rich in antioxidants. These are dyes that contain flavonoïds, for example, henna, madder or osage. Remember that these materials are used as reducing agents, not as colourants. If you have a strong henna vat (for example) and have finished dyeing, you can use the half-exhausted vat for this recipe.

For a vat of about 15 to 20 litres
— 75 g powdered indigo
— 150 g henna (200 g of madder or osage)
— 50 g lime (calx) calcium hydroxide)
The procedure is the same regardless of the dyestuff used. Prepare as with the fruit vat.

Boil the henna for a few minutes and filter. Then boil again in order to extract the full potential of the plant. Combine the two batches of liquid together in the vat.

Add 75 g indigo and more boiling water. Add the lime. Heat to a temperature of 120° F / 50°C.

This vat will give better results if used the next day. When you are ready to dye you must first check the pH. If it is low,
correct it by adding some lime. Then warm the vat to 120° F / 50°C - stirring gently from time to time.

This vat can be used until exhausted, or it can be combined with a fruit vat.

The Ferrous Vat

This is called the “1, 2, 3” vat – it is a cold vat that is great or cotton and silk; however, it is not recommended for wool because of the iron.

The Ferrous Vat gives a beautiful dark indigo and has the advantage of being a cold vat that keeps for months. It is good for printing as it does not require long dips. It is a vat that has been known throughout history.

For a vat of about 15 to 20 litres
— 20 g Natural indigo (1 part)
— 40 g ferrous sulphate (2 parts)
— 60 g lime (calx) (3 parts) calcium hydroxide)
Start with hot water – almost boiling. Add the indigo to the vat, then the ferrous sulphate, then the lime. Wait for the vat to turn yellowy-green. Check for the bronze surface and the dark bubbles. Begin to dye with short dips (10-15 minutes). Oxidize in water and then the air.

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