Tips For Indigo Dyeing
Author: Bonny Francis Date Posted:5 July 2017
HAVING TROUBLE WITH YOUR INDIGO DYEING?
Here are some things to consider
1. How fresh is your Hydros?
Hydros is very unstable and needs to be stored in a cool, dry place. Make sure it’s in a sealed container and use a resealable bag to exclude any air from coming into contact with the powder. Hydros also isn’t a fan of humidity. If you live somewhere humid, buy small quantities to keep it fresh.
2. Indigo prefers hot water to cold.
Indigo is meant to be dyed at 50°C minimum. We always dissolve our Indigo in hot water and even if the dyebath is not on a heat source use hot tap water to make up the dyebath.
3. How are you dissolving your alkaline? (Soda Ash)
If you’re using Soda Ash as your alkaline – it won’t dissolve properly in cold water and will just drop to the bottom of your dyebath and sit there. Carefully pre-dissolve the Soda Ash in hot water.
4. Check your chemical measurements.
There are some weird and wonderful recipes out there which are far from accurate. The amount of chemical you use is critical to an Indigo vat working. Remember this is essentially dye chemistry.
5. Indigo dyebaths are notoriously temperamental.
Unless absolutely necessary we don’t recommend keeping a dyebath going for more than a few days. Having a standing bath as part of the family is lovely as long as you have the expertise to tweak it whenever you need to use it. It’s very easy to lose control of it and have it go rogue and unusable.