Q: I purchased a Indigo dye From Dharma Trading which is supplied by Jacquard company and the dye flower did not form very well and I found that the pieces that I dyed faded out almost to white which was very strange, after creating beautiful pieces, this was heartbreaking! So don't know if that was inferior dye or ash or what it could be?! Since I already have a vat going do you think I should just add the items in your kit to my present vat or start over!

A: The three ingredients that Jacquard uses for their vat are synthetic pre-reduced Indigo (blue bottle), Soda Ash (Granular white powder) and Thiourea Dioxide (Thiox, finer white powder). I have to assume, because your flower didn't form well and your pigment washed out, that your problem was with the Thiox, which is the reducing agent in the vat. Its job is to modify the indigo molecule so that it will elect to bond with your fabric. If this chemical is compromised, your pigment will never be fully reduced and your vat will not turn yellow/green. The strength of thiox will degrade when it is exposed to air. Perhaps your baggie of it was old, a bad batch, or wasn't tightly sealed.

The Indigo & Shibori natural dye kit can certainly be added to this vat and the two should work in concert and give nice rich dark shades! The Natural dye kit kit uses different ingredients (Natural Indigo from Plants, Slaked Lime and Ferrous Sulfate). It is great for plant fibers, but its strength can damage animal fibers like silk and wool. So consider that before dyeing

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