I had to make my own entertainment with what I had at hand and so I gravitated towards making things. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Exports of the crop did not expand until the mid-to late 18th century. Where and how was the dyestuff grown and by whom? But the dreamy sky and sea blues that Indigo produces are worth the effort. Where Does Indigo Dye Come From? The unique characteristics it has displayed include potential for mixed smallholder systems with at least one other species and a resilience that allows for constant nitrogen update despite varying conditions. Which I have dyed with but have no idea what their exact names are! When dyeing with plants, there are many factors which can effect the colour you will produce. However, I do have blue false indigo (Baptisia australis) growing (and growing and GROWING - it spreads by rhizomes) in my yard. involved extraction process first. Several species, especially Indigofera tinctoria and Indigofera suffruticosa, are used to produce the dye indigo. The silver-green leaves smell absolutely amazing as they are being heated (always a bonus), and they produce an electric orange colour. In the Japanese tradition, plants are first harvested and dried . After composting is complete, the remaining material (“sukumo”) is dried and bagged, ready for use in traditional dyeing vats . extensively, as it has been overtaken by synthetic dyes. Marigolds are another great dye to start experimenting with, and they produce golden yellows, oranges and greens. Images mostly by Belinda Sheekey, and some from Robin. "Cook your plant dyes outside if possible, and keep your dye pots separate from your cooking pots.". Indigo dye. 1 ounce (30 grams) sodium hydrosulfite. The types of fruit produced by different species of Indigofera can also be divided into broad categories that again show great variation. Indigo dye has been used for thousands of years by civilizations all over the world to dye fabric blue. Indigo Plant Varieties: Learn About Different Indigo Plants, Indigo Insect Pests – Dealing With Bugs That Eat Indigo, Indigo Plant Harvest – Tips On Picking Indigo For Dye, Natural Thanksgiving Décor – How To Grow Thanksgiving Decorations, Autumn Centerpiece Ideas For Outdoor Table Décor, Corn Cob Wreath: How To Make Indian Corn Wreaths, What Is Barley Foot Rot: Treating Barley Foot Rot Disease, Lettuce ‘Sanguine Ameliore’ Variety – Growing Sanguine Ameliore Lettuce, What Are Sugar Ann Peas – How To Grow Sugar Ann Pea Plants, Fixing An Overwatered Lawn – What To Do About Overwatered Grass, The Bountiful Garden: Bringing The Garden To Thanksgiving, Overwintering Containers And End Of Season Cleanup, Must Have Winter Shrubs – Top 7 Shrubs For Winter Interest, Enclosed Porch Garden – Indoor Gardening On The Porch. climates, where it appreciates some afternoon shade. The minimal growing temperature is around 67 degrees Farenheit, but the plant will do better in temperatures that are 70 to 80 F. Prepare a garden bed by mixing sandy, loamy soil mix into the topsoil of the garden. Indigo is a lovely flowering plant which produces purple or pink buds. I’m focusing on small, one-off pieces dyed using plants from my garden. I drag them home or ask a friend to help me carrying them. Exclusive content and FREE digital access to over 20 years of back issues, SUBSCRIBE:www.permaculture.co.uk/Subscribe, Wild World, Doorstep Discoveries - Autumn Special.  Similar to fruit shape, the variation in fruit sizes allows for the thickest and most bountiful fruits to be selected. Africa, but it’s difficult to be sure, since it’s been in cultivation since at Is there anything in your childhood that attracted you to plants and natural dyeing? I first met Myf last year while searching for an experienced local natural dyer to teach a community workshop on the process. Need an excuse to fire up a steaming pot out the back and stir it slowly this weekend? I guess if I had to distil my ethic I’d say – simplicity and subtlety. This year, the first frost hit Transition Farm in late April. Choose a site that receives a few hours of direct sunlight each day, preferably with a south or southeast exposure. Simply chop into chunks and gently bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and add your fibre of choice! Traditionally, Indigo blue is produced through a process of fermentation, so it's a little bit more complicated than some other dye plants. How to Grow Indigofera Tinctoria. It produces a sunshine golden yellow. It’s least 4,000 BCE, long before good gardening records were being kept. Indigofera is a varied genus that has shown unique characteristics making it an interesting candidate as a potential perennial crop. It’s still a wonderfully useful plant, however, and very much worth growing for the adventurous gardener and home dyer. When Eliza Lucas Pinckney and enslaved Africans successfully cultivated new strains near Charleston it became the second most important cash crop in the colony (after rice) before the American Revolution. Prepare a garden bed by mixing sandy, loamy soil mix into the topsoil of the garden. I dyed bits and pieces over the years, rejuvenating clothes I bought from. They are widely distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. widespread dye plant in the world. As a legume, indigo plants can absorb nitrogen from the air and grow well in nutrient-deficient soil. often called true indigo or simply just indigo, is probably the most famous and Next: ‘As if Dropped From Another Planet’. Soon after, the Marigolds started to turn brown - but just before they did, we ran out and grabbed a whole heap of these beauties to dye with! What plants do you grow in there and why did you choose them? I’m not really interested in having a recipe or creating deliberate patterns and colours, because that’s what I do all day on the computer. Indigofera is a large genus of over 750 species of flowering plants belonging to the pea family Fabaceae. Choose a site that receives a few hours of direct sunlight each day, preferably with a south or southeast exposure. Thanks so much Bel. I grew up on a small farm, my parents were urban kids who married and moved to the country in pursuit of a simpler life. To grow indigo, you'll need to first prepare a plot. The Planthunter acknowledges and celebrates the First Australians on whose traditional lands we meet and work. indigo pigment from plants . Tucked away in the Dandenong Ranges just outside of Melbourne, Myf Walker’s garden is filled with botanical treasures that any serious natural dyer would love to get their hands on. Indigofera is a The fruit is a legume pod of varying size and shape.. Give a dollar or two or ten a month. She generally dyes wool or alpaca yarn, which go on to become beanies. Tell us about your natural dyeing process.  Colonial planters in the Caribbean grew indigo and transplanted its cultivation when they settled in the colony of South Carolina and North Carolina where people of the Tuscarora confederacy adopted the dyeing process for head wraps and clothing. The plant grows in abundance in the town of Kamiita, one of Tokushima’s main production sites for ai. Indigo. What methods do you practice, what textiles do you use and what objects do you create? This article originally appeared www.milkwood.net/2014/06/23/experiments-in-colour-diy-plant-dyes. On separate occasions, simply by altering a few of these factors, Robin and I have produced rich, deep purples and soft, smoky greys from sunflower seed hulls.