Growing and using indigo

dye garden indigo

This is the second summer I have grown the variety persicaria tinctoria. I have a small plot, about 5′x3′ in my right of way by the street. The plants are now blooming beautiful hot pink flowers and collecting these leaves mid to late September will be my third harvest of leaves. With what I’ve grown I have been able to dye 3 shirts, a lb. or so of yarn, and attempt a pigment extraction process. The first time didn’t work, so I’ll harvest the last leaves after they are done going to seed and attempt the process again. Deep blues that indigo is known for come from a fermented indigo process while dyeing with fresh leaves gives different teal and greener hues. Next year, I aim to have more silk items on hand to dye, and get better at extracting the pigment from the leaves so I will have a shelf stable pigment for later on. this is a thrifted silk shirt, dyed with fresh indigo leaves from the gardentiny pink indigo flowersthe vibrant teal green of fresh indigo pigment

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