You Asked, Kathy Answered: Indigo To Get Green + A Ruined Vat

We get lots of emails from customers about challenges with dyeing and needing Botanical Colors’ President Kathy Hattori’s help. Why not share the learning so we can all benefit? From our inboxes to you, it’s simple: You Asked, Kathy Answered. Email with your plea for help!

YOU ASKED: I am curious how to achieve a light shade of blue green with natural  dyes and am assuming it would be dyed first with weld and then over-dyed with a few dips of indigo? Is there a natural dye that will do the same in one step?

KATHY ANSWERED: We like to dye our indigo first, then mordant and dye the yellow second. This provides us more control over the color combination of yellow and blue. If the yellow is very bright and clear, like weld or marigold, the indigo combination can make a leaf or Kelly Green. If the yellow is more muted like myrobalan or pomegranate, the indigo combination can make a teal or mallard blue-green. There really isn’t a natural dye that creates blue-green in one step that I’m aware of but if you are dyeing wool and using Saxon Blue and a yellow, you can combine them in one immersion dye pot. If you’re looking for a hue of green with one extract, maybe explore our Chlorophyllin Green Dye?

YOU ASKED: I am experimenting with the 1-2-3 fructose indigo vat. By accident, I added citric acid to my vat and I noticed a couple hours later that something was not right and went back and added the slacked lime. Will the fact that there is citric acid in my vat do something to my vat?  Is this vat completely ruined? 

KATHY ANSWERED: Citric acid would have created a very acidic indigo vat, which is not at all ideal. If you then added slaked lime (calcium hydroxide), the pH may have increased but you would need to test the vat to see if it’s reducing and ready for dipping. If the vat doesn’t balance or doesn’t make a blue color, then I’m afraid you have to dispose of this vat and rebuild it. Sorry!

You might also be interested in:

The Easy 1-2-3 Fructose Indigo Kit

Organic Indigo

Organic Living Blue Indigo

Stitched Shibori by Jane Callender