In my very limited experience thus far with indigo I have found that it dyes carb based fibers ( like cotton, linen and hemp) better than protein based fibers ( like silk and wool) so I was really pleased with the result I got this past weekend with dyeing some 100% wool felt. You might remember the curious cylindrical pieces from this photo.
I have to admit when I unwrapped them I was completely taken with the imprint on the wood almost as much as the wool.
I like that those of you who visit my flickr stream were intrigued by the image of a brand new substance I got in the mail to play with. It is kakishibu. ( I am sure that really helped). It is a powder derived from fermented persimmons and is a traditional dye stuff from Japan that can be mixed and then painted on. I have read many a warning about its smell but after working with indigo and woad fermentation vats all summer I find its smell quite pleasant. I first mixed it to a good gel like consitency and was just playing around with it on that indigo dyed piece of bookhou fabric. I love the color as is but the amazing thing about this stuff is that it gets better with time. Most natural dyes are light sensitive and fade with time but they say this will darken and become richer with time. I find that really fascinating.
It also has other properties that I will show you on the next little experiment. ( maybe tomorrow).