After preparing her dye with indigo extract, Donna folds in damp clean linen in an accordion fashion and continually swirls the fabric for about a minute to prevent air bubbles as it turns a chartreuse green.
She squeezes out the excess water and pulls the linen out in a ball; contact with the air begins its transformation into a teal-green. Then she dips it in a solution of water, soda ash, and hydrogen peroxide to set the dye.
Knowing that the fabric will dry two to three shades lighter, she continues the process until the color is to her liking.
Yarn dyed to a vibrant hue in a fresh-leaf vat using the Indigofera suffruticosa that Donna grew last summer
Blooms on last year’s crop;
A cloth dyed in the Japanese shibori method, a technique of binding and dyeing fabric to achieve a pattern, in this case “snowflake;”
A close-up of indigo leaves
A dyed cotton scarf resembles denim
Indigofera suffruticosa seeds saved to plant a new crop