IndigoNatural DyeingVats

New Year, New Vat

9 days in to the new year I finally get around to starting a new vat.

For quite some time I’ve been wanting to try my hand at a truly natural vat, so today I started a fructose lime vat. Often also called a 1-2-3 vat, which is confusing because a ferrous sulphate (iron) vat is also know as a 1-2-3 vat.

The recipe I used was 20mg Indigo, 40mg lime, 60mg fructose crystals. I followed the instructions found at MAIWA. (this link will take you to the instructions PDF) I made the starter jar and let it reduce before adding it to 14 litres of hot water from the tap.

Point of interest for this vat is it smells amazing. When you lean over it, you feel like you’re in a candy store. It stinks of sugar. I’m quite surprised i didn’t attract every bee in the neighbourhood over for a look.

Anyway, I documented my vat making so here it is in pictures.

fructosevat-1
You can see a slight reduction line at the bottom
You can see the coppery scum and that the water is a deep reddish yellow. Supposedly this is reduced.
You can see the coppery scum and that the water is a deep reddish yellow. Supposedly this is reduced.
Moved to the larger vat. Looks pretty good.
Moved to the larger vat. Looks pretty good.
First dip. The colour of this vat is really beautiful. It's like maple syrup. Smells like it too.
First dip. The colour of this vat is really beautiful. It’s like maple syrup. Smells like it too.
First oxidisation. Not so pretty. kind of a light army green.
First oxidisation. Not so pretty. kind of a light army green.
Going for the second dip. See how the blue here is quite pretty?
Going for the second dip. See how the blue here is quite pretty?

I timed 5 minute dips on linen gauze, for a total of 8 dips.

fructosevat-7
Grey blue.
fructosevat-8
Indoor shot of the colour. Really dull greyish blue. The darkest part here looks better in the photograph than real life.

I’m actually really disappointed with the colour. It’s a very grey blue. ¬†At this point in time I’m not sure if that is due to me making a mistake, or I need to run a stronger vat to get the results I expect or what. Potentially I didn’t let it reduce for long enough, but it definitely looked ready to use. On the first dip it seemed to be a lovely bright blue, but then it picked up a grey tinge quite quickly.

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