Thinking of Blue and Getting Maroon-ed

It was a mild winter and spring is early. My woad stayed green so I will have a bumper crop this year. I thought it best to use some of the leaves stored in my freezer.  A funny thing happens with woad when heat is used. The indigotin present in the leaves turns shades of pink and maroon.  When a dye vat is made with woad it is a beautiful blue. This was the blue dye plant in Europe before trade routes opened to the orient for other indigo sources.

2 upcycled silk blouses were layered with frozen woad leaves, then processed in the pressure cooker. The strong dye (indigotin) penetrated all layers of the bundles leaving full and ghost prints. I love the depth created with the leaves this way. Be sure to right click for an enlarged image to see the detail.

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