Earth Day | Natural Dye Tip 002: Organic Indigo Dye Vat


Wishing everyone a restful Earth Day today. In a series of Natural Dye Tips, I'd love to share one recipe for how to create your own brew of indigo dye - with discarded fruit. 

Plant based indigo is a wonderful dye colour that we have used and loved in our designs for a couple of years now. With Pantone declaring "Anti-Anxiety Blue" the colour of 2020, I think more blues in this current global climate is more important now more than ever. Let's integrate more calming, oceanic blue palettes into our interiors, eh? x

An  Organic Indigo Vat requires a 1-2-3 ratio of 

1 00gx Indigo base material, often ground up indigofera tinctoria plant 

2 00gx Alkaline Base in the form of Pickeling Lime, often found in your local garden shop

3 00gx Antioxidant Component in the form of Fructose, which you can also create yourself from discarded fruit and vegetable scraps. 

Indigo Dye powder becomes active once the oxygen is essentially activated and then stripped from the dye. This process allows the dye to bond to your fabric and thus create that beautiful colour.

The first step to approaching your organic dye vat is to gather together a large pot (we tend to use a 19 liter pot), gram scale, and a clean heating surface away from food. If using your kitchen, please thoroughly before / after use.

Please also be sure to wear a dust mask, which are generally handy these days all around. 

Gather together you 100g indigo dye, 200g Pickeling Lime, and 300g Fructose Powder or home-made syrup in separate containers.

Add 20ml of warm water to your 100g indigo in a small container and massage the powder into a fine paste. This will activate / hydrate the indigo.

In a separate container or mason jar add 500 ml of hot water to 200g of Pickeling Lime.

Then combine the Indigo Powder with Pickeling Lime gently. The Pickeling Lime adds Alkalinity to the Indigo Powder - an essential step in this natural chemical process.

Now prepare yourself for the magic.

Add your final component, the Frucose element and fill the remainder of the mason jar with hot water and leave for about an hour.

The solution, if ready, should have a green-yellow colour, and soon form a "brown flower" or foam at the top of the liquid. At this stage, your solution is read for dyeing on your fabric. 

This is a delicate process and may require a few takes to achieve that final reaction but once you do, it is so worth it.

Stay tuned for more tips + stay connected with us online as we share more via our Instagram @remusedesigns.

Stay safe everyone <3




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