Hide Glue is a granulated form of rabbit skin glue and is rich in collagen. It is used as a protective coating for protein fibers in high alkalinity dyebaths such as an indigo vat and visibly improves the hand of wool and silk fibers, even after multiple prolonged indigo dips. Some dyers are noting that it works well with tannin-rich or iron-infused dyebaths as well.
Instructions for Use
Our Hide Glue Indigo Vat Instructions will help you understand how to use hide glue in an indigo vat. The glue is a protein based adhesive used in fine woodworking and antique restoration and for thousands of years was the most common woodworking glue until the invention of polyvinyl acetate and resin glues in the 20th century. It is made from animal skins, bones and connective tissue. It is a tenacious adhesive yet also water soluble and non toxic and not hazardous. Artists use rabbit skin glue to size canvases. People also use it in bookbinding and to prepare certain art mediums.
For textile artists, hide glue is used in indigo and other dye vats to help protect protein fibers such as wool and silk from excessive heat or alkalinity. The hide glue helps maintain the sheen, softness and hand of the protein fiber, yet does not impede the dye or indigo dip process. Prepare the hide glue solution before you begin to balance your vat as it takes about 45 minutes for the granules to dissolve. You can also make in advance and refrigerate. To use, thin it with a little boiling water or slowly reheat it in a water bath until it melts. If you add it to a cold dye bath, it may thicken into little blobs, so add it to warm vats and baths (about 100 degrees F).
- 250 g will last for approximately 10 indigo vats