Thursday, July 12, 2007

Indigo Dyeing

We had fun at Yabbers yesterday with some Indigo and rust dyeing. I'll be using my sheets for some oriental bindings. I mostly used some chinese ricepaper which held together pretty well.

Here is the recipe I used for Indigo.

Indigo Dyeing
2 litres water
1 heaped tablespoon caustic soda
1 tablespoon thioureadioxide
1 tablespoon indigo

Add 1 heaped tblspn NaOH to 2l water add 1/2tspn thiourea dioxide & stir gently to dissolve. Sprinkle 1 tblespn indigo on top stir gently to dissolve then sprinkle on other ½ thiourea dioxide.
Allow to stand at least 30 mins. A shiny scum or ‘flower’ appears on the surface of the dye.
When the water turns green the vat is ready to use. Test with a small piece of wet white fabric. Cloth must turn green on removal from the vat and will begin to oxidise and turn blue.
Vat may be revived by adding hot water, more thiourea dioxide and a small amount of NaOH

Technique – wear gloves and old clothes
Add wet fabric, threads, paper or pulp leave threads and cloth in for 10-20 mins do not agitate, you can redip to increase colour.
Dilute liquid before disposing.

And the rust recipe I use:-


Materials required
Paper can be handmade or commercial. Try paper with printing and paper with texture for special effects
Ferrous Sulphate (available from nurseries) Fe2(SO4)3
Caustic Soda NaOH (available in supermarkets with the draino)
Strong Black Tea
Lemon Juice
Newspaper or cartridge to dry paper on.

Two recipes:-
From Margaret Mason
“This information came from Adele after doing her workshop at Forum. Mix 250gr of sulphate to 4 litres of water. also have a tray of strong TEA Caustic soda - 1 tablespoon to 4 litres of water Lemon juice works well too. Dip from one to the other or use a brush, I used a brush for the best results. Most green turns to black. You will get browns, orange and yellow with this combination. Have plenty of various types of paper and all day to play because once you start you will not want to stop. Try various combinations, not necessarily all at once. For extra add gesso to paper and let dry then add above. Let papers dry for a couple of days, then wash - do not rub. Work with a second sheet underneath particularly if using thin paper; you then get good patterns on the second sheet. Finish - can cover with 1/2 diluted PVA and 1/2 satin varnish or gloss varnish. Can also use clear sealer.”

And Toni Smith

“Marie Waterhouse and I have been doing some rust dyeing lately. We have a recipe from Mary Ann Hatcher which is: 250g. Ferrous Sulphate dissolved in l litre warm water and l tblsp. caustic soda in 2 litres of cold water. Dip into rust solution, remove and allow excess to drip off before immersing in caustic soda solution. Remove and lay on plastic to oxidize. The surface will change from grey-green to rusty orange-yellow over about 15 mins. After 15 mins. rinse well in fresh water. We have only been dyeing sheets of paper, haven’t tried a whole book. I've been drypoint embossing on the paper. I've got some stencils, just plastic ones, but they look quite good - especially an Aboriginal style lizard, which looks as though it is coming out of rock. Marie has been making some wonderful "landscapes", she hasn't been rinsing the paper at all.”
This is my white book craft book which I dipped in indigo and then into rusting solution i.e. iron sulphate then dilute caustic soda.

I plan to dye some strelitzia fibre in the indigo I have left, I have it beating at the moment. Here is another picture of the artichoke heads I cooked the other day and a picture of them cooked and washed pre beating.


Carol said...

Hi Gail, I did rusting with Adele but my notes leave a lot to be desired and your notes filled in the gaps for me. I saw your message on book-arts so thanks for the reminder.

Cher said...

Hello Gail, Lovely to read your Indigo blog while I'm searching for clues & information. I'm about to embark on my own indigo journey [inspired by Chris Rose & Barb at Earthworks workshop in 2012 - better late than never!]
I'm just wondering where I would get thiourea dioxide - do you buy it in Melbourne? Or should I look online. Thank you. Always hopeful of seeing you again sometime... cher

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