Indigo in a season

Seeds planted in April

Planted out in June

Flourishing in July

Harvested in September

Leaves picked

Blended

Silk and wool left to soak

Blue starting to appear

Drying on the Rowan tree

Beautiful blues

We are so delighted that our first crop of home-grown indigo has been harvested, processed and used. The harvest was from two Japanese Indigo plants, started in the greenhouse then continued in our dye bed at the Out There allotment. They have been no trouble at all to grow. We used a low impact method to extract the colour as described here (found via Wild Colours).

This method works best on animal fibres, and produces shades that are more on the turquoise spectrum.

The whole experience of growing such an iconic dye plant and getting results like these was hugely exciting for our allotment group.

Some comments from a participant…

“Good aerobic exercise power-walking back to the studio with the indigo foliage for processing before the pigment decomposed!”

“All of the group, plus passing potters, woodworkers, et al, were intrigued to see the alchemy of colour development.”

“Many happy faces admired the richly coloured silks and wools drying in the sunshine.”

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