My kitchen now has an indigo vat that I made in the workshop on May 1. It was the first of the two classes with Michel Garcia. There were 3 of us in the Berkeley studio. We brought our buckets, ingredients, scales and a 4’ dowel for stirring the vat. Then we brought them home to do homework in preparation for the second class on May 8.
This is a picture of my vat. This is what a healthy vat should look like. It was wonderful to see immediate results. The best part was learning the chemistry to explain how the “magic” of indigo dyeing actually is accomplished. And how to maintain a healthy vat. Also wonderful was that it is really quite simple with Michel’s 1-2-3 method with only 3 ingredients plus water—and they are all safe.
Our homework is to test the vat every day for the week and watch how the vat matures or changes. With Michel’s method it was easy to do many dips in one dye session. My sample fabric is a cotton from a Japanese flea market.
Besides the big test piece I made small bundles of fabrics. One bundle is silks and the other, cottons and linens. Just like my other dyeing experiments, all the fabrics in a bundle were dyed the same; the differences in color occur because of the different fabrics in the bundle. More results at the end of the week. Stay tuned!