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Indigo Dye bath #1 (January 2005)

100 gram bottle of Indigo solution: 18 quarts of water (because that's how big the pot is). Turned on the heat, and let it simmer for 20 minutes or so, just to warm it up.

Turns out that the solution in the bottle had kind of settled and chunked a little, so I had to rinse the bottle out several times (dumping the results in the dye bath as well).

Pre-soaked the wool, which is white Icelandic fleece. Mordant was iron ingots.

I simmered the bath and wool for 3 hours, turned off the heat and let it sit overnight.

As you can see, it's a very intense blue.

Indigo is known by the Norse in the Viking Era only in sofar as the chemical itself is the same as that found in the plant woad. This modern chemical solution of Indigo creates a depth of colour that I don't think the Norse could have achieved.

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Text © Karen Peterson, 2017
Photographs © Karen Peterson, 2017

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