Dye Liquid Making
It’s not enough to only dissolve the natural indigo dye into water to let the indigo color shows up. It is necessary to turn the dye liquid through the fermentation, adding strong alkali liquid and nutrients such as glucose. The process of solution, changing the solid indigo dye to dye liquid, is called “Ai Da-te.”(On this process, there is a way using chemical materials, but Isso uses only natural ones as following the traditional way.)
First, the solid dye material “Sukumo,” alkali liquid, lime and Japanese Sake are mixed in a special vat called “Ai Ga-me.” 2 to 3 days later, small bluish-purple bubbles, called “indigo flowers –Ai no Hana,” appear on the liquid surface, and then, add lime and alkali liquid into the vat. If the process of liquid fermentation naturally proceeds well, the liquid is ready to dye after 7 to 10 days.
After dipping the cloth in the dye liquid, it firstly turns brown. Then, the cloth becomes an blue color with green hue. Finally, the cloth becomes a splendid blue color after washed in water.
Each time of dyeing fabrics makes the depth of color, getting closer to black.