How to Dye Wood with Indigo
Heide Martin uses a vat-dying technique with its roots in fabric dying to give vibrant indigo color to her furniture.
Synopsis: Heide Martin uses a vat-dying technique with its roots in fabric dying to give vibrant indigo color to her tray table. First, she creates a highly concentrated dye solution, called a mother, and then uses that solution to make the vat. After preparing the workpieces by raising the grain, she begins dipping them. This is a companion piece to Indigo Tray Table in this issue.
When I decided that I wanted to achieve a true indigo color for a table I was making, I quickly realized that aniline dyes would not give me the richness and tonal variety I was looking for. I decided to explore traditional indigo vat dyeing techniques, long used to give brilliant color to wool, silk, and linen. But I found precious little information on how to transfer these processes to wood.
Through trial and error, help from The Modern Natural Dyer by Kristine Vejar…