To dye for

 
 

Indigo dye is an old traditional dyeing method that has been used for thousands of years dating back to ancient Asia. It’s a natural color made of plants and leaves, and a kype-type of color that reacts chemically when it comes in contact with oxygen.

 
 

We create the pattern on our designs by using pieces of wood, stitches and folds to isolate the fabric from the color in the bath.

We use natural cotton twill. Before the coloring, we prepare the fabric by putting it into warm water. This way the fibres open and soften, and the color will penetrate the fabric easier. Then the cotton is submerged in the color bath for 3 minutes, covering the fabric completely so the coloring will be even. Then we remove it carefully from the bath and twist it softly. At this point, the fabric is yellow and green, but as soon as the oxidation process begins it’ll start to turn blue. This takes approximately 15 minutes.

 

 
 

The indigo leaves are crushed into a powder to get the vat - the color ‘leaf.’ The indigo powder is mixed in 26 degrees hot water, stirring carefully.

 

After mixing, the color bath will turn green-yellow. On the surface, a metallic-blue layer will form, which is called the ‘flower’. This layer must be removed before you start to color. But first, the vat needs to sit for 2-3 hours.

 
 

Then we hang the fabric to dry. Sometimes we give it another round, depending how deep a blue we want to achieve with the fabric. Then we wash off excess color in water and soap flakes. When it has dried, the fabric is ready to be cut, sewn and made into one of our Slow Works designs.

 

'We believe in having control of our own time.'
- Slow Works