Monthly Archives: July 2020

Woad extraction experiments

Woad plants in the garden ready for harvesting. One kilo fits nicely in a bucket. This then has water at 80 degrees centigrade added. The leaves are steeped and the liquor cooled as quickly as possible. The liquor then has an alkali added and is aerated. After this the liqor is put into demi John’s to allow the indigo Pigment to settle. The liquid on top is siphoned off and the indigo rich sludge put into measuring cylinders. After settling again, the top liquid is siphoned off again and the sludge is decanted into trays to allow the last moisture to evaporate off leaving dry indigo Pigment with varying impurities depending on the alkalis and acids added.


Meadowsweet growing in the damp earth of an old route of the Thames by our garden
Meadowsweet heading homewards
Fleece in the meadowsweet dye vat
The golden fleece…