John Elliott wrote:I hadn't heard of it before, but I am not surprised. There are all sorts of little craft enterprises keeping old traditions alive in out of the way places in South Carolina. I know there is a tea plantation (the only one in America! according to them) on Wadmalaw island, a couple islands up from Kiawah.
Do you want me to keep my eye open for Carolina Indigo plants? You may have some success growing it in Arkansas, although to compare Arkansas to South Carolina, the Ozarks are equivalent to "upstate", and the swampy "delta" area along the Mississippi would be the equivalent of the Carolina "Low Country".
Bill Bradbury wrote:Here in the west, we are being inundated with dyer's woad. They seem to love the worst possible dry, rocky conditions and produce so much seed that they take over hillsides. There is an actual eradication program in place, but no one seems to want to use it. We live in weird times!
Aside from contemporary textile applications of aizome being used in current fashion, the signature ‘Japan blue’ can now be found being applied to Japanese cedar for use in interior decoration, flooring, and other household accessories.
Darren Cook wrote:Getting jealous...indigo is beautiful but I'm sure growing it in my area would be a challenge.
So I googled dyeing with chokecherries/aronia berries, having those aplenty. Found this straight off....gonna have to try it!
As she did in The Giver and later Messenger, in Gathering Blue Lois Lowry challenges readers to imagine what our world could become, how people could evolve, and what could be considered valuable.
Ancient dyeplant known for the clarity and fastness of the blue produced. Leaves contain indican which must be oxidized by fermentation to produce the dye. Fresh herbage (strongest when in flower) is steeped in water for 12-48 hours with frequent stirring. A blue sediment will form which is the dye. Needs long growing season.
Daniel Schneider wrote:For those who are too far North for growing indigo, woad is an excellent alternative. It has the same active ingredients as indigo (in much lower concentrations), but will grow at least as far north as central Sweden. I spent one summer growing and dyeing with it, so if any are interested, I can answer questions they might have about it.
Daniel, the more information the better, would love to hear more about your experiences with woad.....
For those who are too far North for growing indigo, woad is an excellent alternative. It has the same active ingredients as indigo (in much lower concentrations)
For some reason I thought that indigo vats were made with fermenting.
I would love to grow woad. I've gotten woad seeds several times, but they never germinate for me. Is there a trick to it?