Indigo Fermentation Vat


Here are the ingredients needed to start an indigo fermentation vat. During the summer months my vat stays outside. In the winter when I want to use it, I place it in a box near my wood stove.  I also use a clip on light with a 100 watt bulb . The fermentation process needs heat to work properly (About 100 degrees).  Proportions for the ingredients–

4 ounces ground indigo

2 ounces madder root (ground)

2 ounces wheat bran

12 ounces soda ash (sodium carbonate)


Weigh ingredients and place in a bucket full of warm water.


Alpacas do like to supervise!


Stir all ingredients to combine. Now let it sit for about a week. Stir daily but make sure to stir slowly. You do not want to introduce oxygen in to your vat. Fill bucket to within 2 inches of the top. If your temperatures were warm enough, within a week your vat will have a shiny coppery look on top and a dull yellowish color liquid. Perfect!. Add wetted fibers and dye!

To reconstitute your vat just add the ingredients and start the process over.


Some variegated indigo dyed alpaca.


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