I love Blue. I love Indigo Blue. I am sooo a blue jean girl. But my indigos always seemed to stop at the more faded indigo blue that had a dusky tone to it – like I get in slightly worn blue jeans –
– not that great deep blue that you get in the dark blue unwashed blue jeans. I tried doing more dips for longer periods of time in the indigo dye baths but still, after rinsing, I got the same tone of blue in my yarns.
So I experimented.
Typically when dyeing with indigo (see my post of June 13, 2012 in my companion blog “A Polish Granddaughter”) you let the yarn drip/aerate for 20 minutes after each dip. After you have completed the dyeing process you place the yarn in a vinegar rinse to return the yarn to a neutral pH. So I started wondering what would happen if I pushed it to a neutral pH sooner? Could I stop the process at a point where I would not lose the deeper blues I was getting out of the pot?
So I filled a container with 50/50 water and vinegar and took a couple of skeins I had been dyeing in the indigo pot, allowed them to aerate just long enough to turn the dark blue I was looking for and then put them in the container with the water and vinegar, completely submerging the yarn. I left them there for a few minutes while the yarn cooled and then hung them to dry on the rack outside.
You can see that the blue kept its deep dark tones – going almost to a dark royal blue. It is sooo cool!!
Unfortunately I can’t show you the finished skeins because they sold before I got a chance to photograph them after rinsing and re-skeining!! They did not lose color during the rinsing. I am hooked!! Here is a shot of two more skeins that were dyed using this process. I love it.
Try it if you are doing indigo dyeing. I would love to know if you had the same result as I did. Now I can’t wait until the spring when I can start the indigo pots back up (as you NEED ventilation when indigo dyeing which Northeastern winters don’t always allow) to get some more of these brilliant deep blues.