jude hill spirit cloth

seasonal blues

after a lot of work

Yesterday.  I thought about season.  How much Joy there really is in it for me.  Here, the blues that have nothing to do with sad.  Dyeing, for me, is always a question.  I haven't really spent time enough to say I know.  But then time flies and  knowing by going fills you  with at least the story of how it goes.



Mostly silk this time, and still many colors.

my favorite blue is more like green.

This morning, again.  And  WordPress will not display my video that goes with this post.  And help chat is down.  But I feel happy. I don't care.

salt method

I am going to make something for myself with all these new salty blues.  Keep an eye on them.  See if the slower patient method makes a change. Keep you posted.

(I have never had issue with regular indigo vat dyeing, fresh leaf or not)

Hey ho.



  1. Gorgeousness. Didn’t know that fresh indigo might fade so quickly. Thank you for saying. Fine for me but wondering and worrying about a few small pieces that have gone…hmmm…

    • jude

      Me either. I’m unsure really. Seems inconsistent, so I am paying attention. I just found one from 2 years back and it seems fine. The cottons faded more than the linen. And the silks look fine. Live and learn I guess.

  2. Susan Crowley

    I love dyeing!! I can’t wait to see your video and hope I get on your site quick enough next spring to get some of the indigo seeds you were talking about earlier. 🥰

  3. Judith

    Love the blues, there are more good ones than bad; cloth, color, sky, birds, music. Indigo fascinates me — don’t know if it will grow here but I think I will give it a try.

  4. Jen

    I love the magic and the permanence of indigo (esp w vat indigo, for permanent color) but I also love the soft mottled surprise of plant dye and its way of slowing fading over time…like me! 😉

  5. I agree that time makes a difference with the fresh indigo, when I’ve let fabric soak longer I’ve gotten better results. And really, I like that it changes with time too. I’ve used some wool yarn in a project that was dyed with the natural indigo, if it turns white again I am okay with that.

  6. Jeri

    I don’t have a problem when something fades. I like the look. Unless ALL of the color would come out… but that’s not likely.
    If you wanted to put something in your shop, maybe just a disclaimer “this might fade” and leave it up to the buyer. I think most of us here love the naturalness and what that brings to the table in the cloth and in our work.
    Loved that reverse star from yesterday.

  7. Kristin A Freeman

    Jude, It is your easy experimental ways with dyeing that has me doing small pieces of cloth with different plants grown in my little dye garden. No big projects, just a hot plate outside, a nice set of puts and an Amish wood hanging rack. Some nice results for my textile pieces.
    I am always encouraged to give things a try when I read how you just go forward with abandon and take whatever results come as just right.
    Thanks for this contagious attitude for exploration.

  8. Liz A

    The salt dyeing method sounds much more appealing than tending a vat … and I like how soft your colors are

    Most of my cloth doesn’t get laundered very much, but even so, the eco-dyes that I did 6 or 7 years ago have now mostly faded (with the exception of the tannin and iron dyes). And yeah, I’m okay with that.

    One of these years I’m going to remember to try some solar discharging … leaving cloth out in the sun for a month or two with something to block the light … or not … for sure the cloth would be weakened

  9. Marti

    Yup, natural dyes do fade yet some of my cloths, going on 10 years, have held their color. I was told when I started to work with rust that it would eat away at cloth; well again, that didn’t happen but I use rust sparingly.

    My one experiment with indigo came about when I was living in TN. grace had gotten some indigo seeds and wanted to share them with me. At first, I was not all that interested because blue is not one of my favorite colors…still the idea of experimenting with indigo seeds and planting them, grabbed hold.

    Three large plants grew and when they were what I felt was a large enough size, I picked all of the leaves. I had read about vats but it was just beyond me. Some of the leaves were bundled just as the were into pieces of white cloth. The rest were plunked into an old aluminum pot that held a little water. I pounded on them with a rock and then added some loose white cloth to the pot along with the bundled cloth strips and added more water to cover and let them sit for a few days.
    Results: I did get some bluish green color on the loose pieces and some weird but interesting markings on the bundled pieces. Over time, the loose pieces faded but the real kick was the bundled cloths; they had interesting markings and patterns and I turned the indigo marked cloths into bookmarks and made stocking stuffers for my kids for Christmas.

    About two years later I got a funny email form my kids informing me that those indigo bookmarks were
    magic” because not only had the markings faded, but they had totally disappeared ! So glad that i had given them to my family, I don’t sell any of my cloths but boy would I have been red in the face if I had sold my indigo bookmarks!!

    Still, I am so much about process rather than results so I was glad that I had tried indigo, even if I really did not know what I was doing !

    • jude

      oh the pounding, yes that is really transient. fun tho.

      I do notice most folks who teach natural dyeing, don’t sell dyed goods just instructions. Avocado is another one. It’s ok the disappearing, as long as you know.

      Indigo dyed properly is very much permanent. I have many stories to tell at this point, so great to live long enough to see change.

    • Diane Kinsley

      I have done some rust dying and I sewed a piece on a bedspread. I took it outside to air out and sprayed some water on it. Some time later I noticed the rust dyed piece had disintegrated and took some stitches in the most heavily rusted parts. The remains are like a remembrance.

  10. Sharan

    I love the greenish blues! I’m intrigued by the infinitely knowable aspect of ‘not knowing’ … the knowing continues to unfold and unfold and unfold …

  11. Velma Bolyard

    seems to me that there’s so much we don’t know, because it’s essentially unknowable. or more, because it doesn’t really matter. but we do know some things, right? and how cool is that! your observations seem spot on to me, but maybe we’re two old fools? muttering away…

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