This year our Woad plants were good enough for a blue dye try-out!
It was hard to find sodium hydrosulfite aka sodium dithionite, so we were very late in the season for our blue dye try. Apparently you get the best results in August/September. But as the whole climate is in a floopy (phoebe Buffay) anyway we gave it a go in November.
In the olden days they used fermented urine, but that was a step to far for us, hence the search for hydrosulfite. Not a fan of using this stuff, but for now it works and we don’t know what to use otherwise.
We started in de morning, harvesting the Woad and finished around eight in the damp cold darkness. So, you could say it’s a lot of work and your back will hurt at the end of the day, but the results are very much worth it.
When you add sodium carbonate to the liquid after draining the leafs, the real magic happens. The smell changes in an instant and the brown colour turns a dark green with a thick layer of blue foam on top when you move your liquid from bucket to bucket, 20! times.
The Tees we used are made of Lyocell (50%) and organic cotton (50%)
Woad has a lower concentration of pigment then indigo, so you get a pale sort of blue with the first batch and a second dip didn’t change the shade much. Curious to know if you can get a very dark and deep shade of blue with Woad dye.
Next year we dye in August, see if there is a difference there..