Friday, September 12, 2014

Indigo


With UNESCO's support we have started dyeing with the wonderful plant based dye - indigo. Through history this dye has been just about the only source of the prized color blue on textiles. There is a more complicated dye procedure than other dyes but the results are addictive.



To reduce the oxygen in the dye vat we use mashed bananas or chopped dates - both of which are farmed in our community.


We are testing resist pastes that block the blue dye, leaving white areas. To our delight we have discovered that our local Dead Sea mud is an excellent resist. These test strips vary in the source of the mud and the application onto the fabric. After dyeing the fabric is washed and the mud cleaned away.

Best of all we are now able to make things like this hat and dress.  Noor and her daughter Sabeel are very pleased with the results of our indigo work.


And this modern take on tie dye is beautifully modeled by Meesar's grandaughter. 


We have planted indigo on our test farm so that soon we will be able to use our own indigo! (Currently we purchase Indian sourced indigo from the United States)



 Irrigation is essential in the hot dry climate.


Our indigo test farm is experimenting with different forms of irrigation, seed density and fertilization.


Soon the wonderful blue dye colouring this hand spun wool will come from our own plants, just like the other colours do. 

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