Seeds sown during October will be ready for picking the following June. In this blog post I'll share with you my first experiment with fresh leaf indigo dyeing on cellulose fibres. Woad as a dye plant: Much more than just blue. Indigo vat dyeing compared to fresh woad leaf dyeing of various fibers, at different temperatures. BUT after a couple of hours, it flakes off—and it flakes *completely* off, taking the woad with it, rather than smudging off gradually. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website.

The root of this plant is Radix Isatidis seu Baphicacanthi (ban lan gen), and a natural indigo dye can be prepared from the leaves, Indigo Pulverata Levis (qing dai). Changes will take effect once you reload the page. Although I did once experiment with 100 indigo plants in a forty foot long polytunnel with some measure of success. The chunks take longer to break down, but even the pre-powdered form is not fine enough for my liking. This site uses cookies.
In the first jar carefully weigh 16 grams soda ash. The indigo plants yields 10 times more indigotin than woad and are therefore much stronger.

Photo by Derek Nestell, used with permission.

Woad does not require a mordant before or during the dye process.

But grease never dries all the way, making it more likely to smear and get on other things. You are free to opt out any time or opt in for other cookies to get a better experience. Copyright © 2018 Dyeing Crafts, All Rights Reserved. Check the pH which should read between 9 and 10. Advise first-time woad recipients that woad can cause allergic reactions, and that if they get more than a tiny bit itchy or have any other allergic symptoms they should wash the woad off, take some Benadryl, and seek medical assistance as necessary.

I learned it as a child, as “part of the rich tapestry of our island story” (as P.G.

However it is not generally possible to grow indigo in the British Isles as it requires a hot and humid climate and a long growing period. Before planting apply garden lime and try to attain a pH of between 7 and 8. I have always suspected that the lightfastness of the fresh leaf indigo dye is not to the same level as the color obtained from a well reduced indigo vat.
Don’t paint above someone’s eyes during the day or on a warm night unless they know what they are getting into.

I started with freeform doodles, then got more serious with typical La Tène motifs from coins, stonework, and metalwork. You can check these in your browser security settings. Woad was, and still is, the native European source of indigo blue dye. My group, Clanne Preachain, is an independent “non-Kingdom ally”—many of our members are also SCA members, but I’ve never been a card-carrying SCAdian. It’s best to paint on clean skin, or over a dimethicone-based primer. As noted above, my older sister Michelle Parrish is a natural dye expert. [EDIT: Thanks to the amazing Cassandra Sherman, I have what I honestly believe to be the Most Magnificent Woad Chest on the Planet. Saliva on its own is loaded with potential ick. But opting out of some of these cookies may affect your browsing experience. Very oily skin can do the same thing, so I’ve considered having some witch-hazel cotton pads in my kit for skin prep. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Maybe not. I’ve been using woad as a body-painting pigment for about 20 years, in the context of an Iron Age Celtic reenactment/living history group. Key: I started typing these out, but they’re very difficult to parse. You always can block or delete cookies by changing your browser settings and force blocking all cookies on this website. Clanne Preachain is not a reconstructive archaeology group; we strive for a tribal, mythopoetic, and artisanal authenticity from a practical, modern standpoint.

(I have painted hundreds of people, and have seen two instances of allergic reaction—one immediate, and one that didn’t emerge until the next day.). You can use the exhausted leaves to make a pink dye. The chemical which gives the blue dye is called indigotin.