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In the dye garden

25 May

Today was spent trimming and planting…

Trimmed back the indigo suffruticosa and put it in a fructose bath to sun soak, more to come on that…I already see blue, just need the sun to kick in.

Planted my Japanese indigo

We’ll see how the madder root & the indigo suffruticosa share space! 

Looking elsewhere in the garden my cota or Navajo Tea is struggling back after an irrigation line failure…

And my weld is almost ready to cut for yellow dyeing, it too suffered from irrigation line failure.

And finally the Texas Persimmons are coming on line! 

So with red (madder root), gold (persimmon), bright yellow (weld), orange (cota) and blue (indigos) how can I be bored at the dye pot this summer? I will be on the elusive search for a black by overdyeing some of these colors. Always a lesson in acceptance! 

Greens – over or under

2 Sep

Here are examples of over dyeing and under dyeing with indigo. As I experiment with agarita, weld, cota and persimmon yellows it is fascinating to see the impact of the order color is laid on a yarn as one goes for green. Here are the resulting greens from my valley. My camera might not have captured all the green tones but they are there!


Now here are the different components. Where appropriate I have laid the yellow in the middle and placed the indigo overdyed above the yellow and the yellow over the indigo below the skein. It made quite a difference in green in how one does the color layers.


Finally here is the persimmon series. In this case I used blender indigo over the cold persimmon dip. I like that color layering better than using persimmon over indigo. It is more pleasing to my eye. The different substrates or yarns also took the dyes in different depths and yielded different tones.


All in all a successful color journey in figuring out greens available to me in my valley!

Overdyeing with Blender Indigo

19 Aug

I have green samples of indigo overdyed with yellows but now I am trying indigo as the top color layer. The main experiment is overdyeing cold persimmon dips with some cota & lichen skeins thrown in. The cold dip persimmon (Texas Persimmon) appears below!

Hence the blender indigo as it doesn’t have the reduction chemicals and will impact the persimmon. Here are the wet skeins that are still changing over…definitely a different green when one flips the overdye. Will cure overnight and rinse tomorrow! The skein on the left is the lichen was a magenta.

These two recipes are my reference:

1.  I’ve used the recipe at the bottom of this web page several times and it works well!  I appreciate the time taken to write this up!



2.  Rowland Ricketts also just posted this recipe, I need to try the 2nd recipe with some of my cotton/linen fibers.  Rowland has an active indigo community on Facebook, look at  to track down the link.

Once again, thank you for sharing!

These are silk scarf blanks that I dipped to pick up the extra blue leftover after my primary skeins!  Always have something extra just to pull the leftover color!  Can’t waste those leaves.


Persimmon – 2 dip Before the indigo



Look up category persimmon for more background on the Texas persimmon

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