ColumnHow to dye your clothes using natural indigo.
Indigo is one of the oldest forms of natural dye, and its rich color still mesmerizes us today. Plus, it’s extremely easy to use. Perfect for redying your jeans to make them dark again, or repurposing a faded or stained shirt, here are step-by-step instructions on how to dye using natural indigo.
Indigo Starter Kit from Earthues, $45
Long Latex Gloves
100% natural fabric, clothing or yarn
Five gallon bucket for dye bath
Five gallon bucket for water rinse
1. First, place fabric in water to soak.
2. Follow the Indigo Starter Kit directions to prepare dye bath.
3. Remove fabric from water, and wring out.
4. Gently place fabric into indigo dye bath, and stir with stick or glove-covered hand. Depending on the dye strength, the length of time the fabric sits in bath will indicate the shade of the color. About 3 minutes is sufficient time for fabric to be in dye bath.
5. Next, carefully push fabric to the side of your bucket and gently lift out guided by wall of the bucket (so as not to add air bubbles to the mixture).
6. Place fabric on drying rack or tray until completely oxidized–you will see the fabric change from yellow-green to blue. Repeat dip process for darker shade of indigo.
7. Place fabric on drying rack and allow to dry completely. Voila!
Wash separately from other clothing, just to ensure the dye does not run onto your other clothing.
Recipe adapted from Kinfolk and Hand/Eye Magazine.
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featured image background: Phyllis W. Hedrick