How to get started with a 123 Fructose VAt
Over the past year, I have been exploring Shibori techniques and natural indigo dyeing. As a designer and educator this interest developed instantly and naturally for me. If you are getting serious about textiles and would like to learn more about natural indigo, I will link to all of my favorite resources at the end of this post. You may remember my post about my favorite indigo artists, many of whom I follow on Instagram. They are still a huge part of why I research indigo more deeply. I am offering private classes and workshops on the medium, I have two coming up this week, so this seemed like the perfect time to share the recipe with all of you!
While, my first few tries with indigo I used a kit containing pre-reduced indigo, I now focus on using organic indigo powder. I switched over for a couple of reasons, my top reasons are:
I hope that you will find the photos of the process, along with the recommended steps and supplies, equally helpful.
Gather your Fructose VAT Supplies
For this project, you will need:
In a pinch, since beginning with a fructose vat, I have even purchased a large quantity of fructose at my local health food store.
Once you have gathered all of your supplies, you are ready to create your indigo stock.
1. Add 2 tablespoons of indigo powder, then wet it out with a bit of warm water to form a paste.
2. Next, you will add one cup of hot water.
4. Add 6 tbs of fructose stir it in, until it dissolves.
5. Then, add 4 tbs of calcium hydroxide and stir it in completely. I stir fairly slowly making sure to dissolve any lumps.
I did not have to wait long until the first bubbles and flower appeared on the top of the jar.
At this point, you will need to add in a bit more hot water filling the jar up to the top leaving about 1-2" of space. Then, let your stock settle completely and begin to react. This can take 15-30 minutes. In some cases the solution may look yellow-green when it is almost ready. In other cases, it may look reddish-brown. When those colors are achieved, your indigo solution is ready to go!
Once it is all ready, you will see the "indigo flower" (bubbles on top). I gently tip the stock solution into a vat of warm water. I bought a thermometer specifically for this and I keep the temp set around 120-130 degrees F. Once the liquid inside the vat has become a yellowish green color with coppery scum on the top, you are ready to dye!
Since most of my indigo projects involve Shibori, I bind my fabrics first, then pre-soak them in water and ring dry prior to dyeing, in that order.
Resources for indigo Dyers
Here are some of my favorite resources that have helped me to learn more deeply about indigo dyeing:
Here are some additional posts on Shibori that I think you might enjoy!
HI, I'M HILARY.
A Day in the Life, is where I share inspiration for a handmade lifestyle from natural dye methods, textile techniques, and the best of California design. I love dreaming up products for a sustainable artful home. I offer creative workshops to inspire you to live your best life by connecting you to your creativity and others. I hope to meet you in person at one of my workshops for creative people like you!
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