Paulina welcomed us in a very cold day, with a warm greeting at her house in La Boca where she lives with her boyfriend. I visited her for the workshop of natural dyes Material Joven with Cata, my sister in law and friend. It is an incredible experience that we recommend. I ended up eager to continue experimenting with more materials. We show you step by step one of the many dyes we used: indigo.
- Latex gloves
- 25grs de índigo
- 50 ml cold water
- 1 tablespoon of caustic soda
- 1 tablespoon of hydrosulfite
- 2 tablespoons of anil
- 2 o 3 lts of water
- Pot – container
- Textile material to dye (cloth)
- Plastic bands, tubes, pipes, wood, etc.
Step by Step
- Wear latex gloves.
- Mix 25grs of indigo in 50 ml of cold water in a measuring container.
- Mix the caustic soda, hydrosulfite and anil in a large plastic container with 2 or 3 liters of water approximately. Add indigo and stir again very slowly.
- Cover. Let it sit. Tapar.
- Remove any bubbles that form on the surface. It is important to check the dye bath and keep removing any bubbles with a spoon because as oxygen enters it affects the oxidation process.
- Use plastic bands, wood, plastic pipes and other alternatives to create your shapes in the textile fabric chosen to be dyed. You can also bend in pieces.
- Dye. Dip the cloth 2-5 minutes in the container. The exposure time will affect the colour intensity but mainly fixates it. Do not exceed these times. A deeper blue is obtained by repeating the immersion and oxidation, not by leaving the fabric more time in the bath.
- Remove the cloth and hang it. When this oxidized with air it develops its characteristic blue color. Make sure to extend the cloth entirely in order to be equally oxide. Be very careful with drips because the indigo has a high tinting strength. Please note: the indigo paints the fabric, it does not dye it.
Photos and content: Pilar Luna