Thursday, 4 August 2011

I Love/Hate Indigo

Native Indigo - Indigofera australis
You may be wondering why the title well I grow our native indigo and thought it would be fun to extract some indigo from it. I tried following several suggested chemical methods to extract it with no success. Clearly I'm missing some critical point. I only had a tiny bit of plant material left from last time I pruned it. So I put some in a jar to ferment and promptly forgot about it.

Today a few months later I found the jar. Yes, there was a bit of dark ink blue indigo floating on top. But when I opened the jar shall we leave it at it stank. So I won't be trying that again on a larger scale unless absolutely needed. I'll just keep growing the indigo for it's pretty flowers and ability to survive dry shade.

Blue Cypress salt bars - Indigo coloured
I'll still keep using indigo in my soap but I'll stick to buying naturally sourced indigo powder. I love the pretty blue colour it gives and it may fade but that happens fairly slowly and just provides a pretty faded denim look.

One thing I've noticed with my soap is the blue colour seems better when I've let the soap gel.

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