weaving workshop at the foot of himalayas....Rishikesh, India
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Dyeing with half fermented Indian indigo

Monsoon has set in the foot of Himalayas, and the temprature has gone down with the maximum below 30℃ these days.

Indian indigo plants are grown in our garden beside the workshop.

 

The plant is a small tree belonging to the pea family.

Branchs are cut with leaves on the top of the plant to be used for indigo dye.
This time yarns are dyed with a method called "half fermented" way, which we learned in Iriomote, Japan.
Indigo branches are soaked in water for 1to 2 nights.
With fermentation proceeds, indigo color seeps out of the leaves, as you can see blue color on the surface of watar in the photo above.
Leaves are squeezed to get indigo color.
As it is fermented, it emits a peculiar smell.
It is different from the one of full fermented Japanese indigo, rather raw and suor kind of smell.
Yarns are dyed right in the liquid without any chemicals or heating up.
As lime not being added, the pH is towards acid side.
It is good to dye wool or pashmina, of which protain being prone to be afected by alkali.
Now Chiaki Maki is dyeing Himalayan wool, which was hand-spun in the Himalayan villages.
Wool yarn is dyed several times until it gets desired shade.
The color is lighter compared to full fermented indigo with its own beauty.
Dyed yarns will be woven into wool garments like Koshimaki skirts or throws for this automn.