Indigo fermentation vat

So if you want to really talk sustainable here’s something for you.

Handmade lace from France -probably 70 to 75 years old.

Dyed of course in the indigo fermentation vat.
I wonder how many people in the US are using a fermentation vat year round.

Of course, indigo looks great any time even when it’s not trendy.

By the looks of what I see there, I’ll be looking forward to when the trend wears off and we can get down to real indigo.

 

21 thoughts on “Indigo fermentation vat

  1. Pavitra

    Hi Glennis,
    I am in India now and am hoping to learn this traditional art hands-on…If I went to the northern part of India, I am sure I would find lots of people who could teach me, but being stuck in the South with 2 small children, my ability to travel is limited….

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  2. frisbee507

    I’d love to “tweak” a Cerulean Blue Vat. Although Indigo seems alive with all the different hues possible. I do believe a person could go insane contemplating. But that is just me!
    Mike

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  3. maclives

    can we say “EXQUISITE” – that lace piece is to DYE for…fabulous, fabulous dyeing…you are such an expert…
    ant[anna in tampa]

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  4. Martha

    I too love the color and I’m intrigued by its creation, though I may never try it myself. I do have a questions. A friend recently mentioned that indigo dyeing is a heavy duty polluter, especially in India. I had always believed indigo to be OK for the environment and even sustainable as you say. Can you tell me anything else about this questions? Or perhaps direct me to some readings on the subject? Thanks so much. Martha

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    1. shiborigirl Post author

      your question itself is a good starting point for a blog post dedicated the answering of that. so many things to think about. often when you hear about denim being dyed they will use the term indigo, when in fact, the thread is being dyed with a chemical dye (color-indigo blue). (and not even synthetic indigo). hydrosulfite vats have the possibility of waste water containing amounts of heavy metals (how much I don’t know). truly- the indigo fermentation vat is the most environmentally sound in addition to one that involves reducing the indigo using sugars. here- i also think about the water use. most of my first rinse water goes back into a vat since it contains indigo that can be reused as well as higher than normal ph. anything else can water the landscape since it is chemical free. I don’t know much about indigo dyeing and its pollutants in India. china has a huge problem but mainly not from indigo dyeing-natural or synthetic. last I saw, they were dyeing denim with what appeared to be indigo blue chemical dyes (since they were dyeing the thread in giant vats of boiling dye-and you don’t boil indigo-natural or synthetic as far as I know).
      i can ony control my small corner here. and show folks how to dye using a fermentation vat as in the online class.

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  5. frisbee507

    I would love to delve into Martha’s question. I’ve seen the videos where the ones processing the indigo are waste deep in the pools smashing the indigo so it can’t be that toxic. Can it? That is my quest tonight, to find out more about indigo effluent.

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  6. frisbee507

    Didn’t find much what I was looking for via the internet. I need to trek down to the Fresno Counties main branch of libraries tomorrow after I get my chores. done. Gotta gather up my quarters for parking as I get lost in time when I go to the library.

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    1. shiborigirl Post author

      i did a little and there isn’t much that i saw in the 30 minutes i had to look. but i think it can be done properly even with chemical vats it just takes proper equipment ($) and intention. none of which may be involved in some places like india and china. i have read some and the thiox seems the best choice of the chemically reduced vats when handled properly with good ventilation (to keep from inhaling sulfur fumes). it is also safe to dispose of in sewer systems. i neutralize mine before disposing of it after discharge work.

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