Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Extracting blue from 2nd year woad

Here is the student with her two silver medals won at the Canada Wide Science Fair for her project on growing and dyeing with woad-indigo.

The student saw cells of indigo in the flowers of the 2nd year woad plant. Her last year's science project is sending up flower stalks and she wanted to see if they would have enough blue to extract.

She harvested the stalks by cutting the 2 ft. flowers stalks off at ground level, leaving the crown of the woad plant intact. She used the extraction method that's on her website.

Using the Birmingham woad she got lots of blue in the indigo extraction. Then she boiled the spent leaves for a second alum mordanted skein for a good pink. She added a second mordanted skein once the first was done, and got a corn yellow.

She has an NA woad indigo extraction going now. It doesn't seem to have as much blue. In fact the bath is very green. Still waiting to see if it will dye blue though.

She doesn't think so as the usual blue foam didn't happen when she was oxidizing it. (update: there was blue but a pale sky blue instead of the medium queen's blue of the Birmingham strain.)

NA woad is the strain that Richter's Herbs sells. Its been consistently lower in indigo yield at every stage of growth. The Birmingham seed originated in UK and has been very promising in indigo yield and in the plant vigor.

1 comment:

  1. Fascinating how many different colours one actually gets from woad!