These specially formulated indigo crystals are pre-reduced which it allows you to use soda ash instead of lye (Caustic Soda Solution) in the dye vat. There is no need to paste the indigo because the crystals dissolve easily in water. This form of Indigo is eye & skin irritant, The chemicals used with Indigo are relatively safe but we recommend you always avoid inhalation of dye and wear rubber gloves to minimize contact with hands and work in a well ventilated area. Never use dyeing utensils used for food preparation.
Before 1856, Natural dyes were used in time honoured techniques (as far back as 1500BC) but once synthetic dyes were invented in 1856, textile dyers and artisans moved from traditional natural dyes to synthetic dyes to colour their cloth and fibre.
They will dye any natural fibre using a handful of non-toxic mordants and additives to help fix the dye and also give you more colour variations. Natural dyeing is very much about reconnecting with the past - apart from using the plant materials you have at hand in your own garden, there are a number of traditional Natural Dyes and extracts including Indigo, Madder, Cochineal and Fustic.
By combining different dyes, mordants and depths of shade, you will produce an amazing palette of deep to subtle pastel colours. We hope you enjoy your Natural Dyeing adventure!