Fresh indigo leaf dyeing – Tade Ai –

November 1, 2012

My neighbor friend shared his Tade Ai (Japanese Indigo plant) seeds.

It was already May which was too late to seed, so I had very little expectation.

When the baby plants grew little more than one inch tall, I transplanted them in the open field.

They are very strong like weeds.

I had too much in the field and I just harvested one part and used for

fresh leaf dyeing.

I picked a recipe from internet.

The proportion was:

— leaf weight (WOF x 3) —— 3 times as much as the fabric or yarn weight

— required 2litters of water for 100g of fresh leaves

— Make indigo juice with blender

— Repeat this process until you get the color you wish:

1 – dipping, 2 – squeeze, 3 – dry for about 15 minutes

You never get deep indigo color this fresh leaves, though.

It would be like between gray and blue.

(With fresh Indian indigo leaf, you would have purple color, I heard)

The day I was testing this method, a typhoon was approaching.

It was getting darker and darker outside.

You can accelerate this coloring reaction, when you do not have bright sun light, with hydrogen peroxide which we use to clean small injuries at home in Japan.

You need 2 litters of water and 40cc of hydrogen peroxide.


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The result with reeled silk.

The result with reeled silk.