Over Dyeing With Indigo

I’ve been wanting to get an indigo pot going for some time now, and this past week was the perfect time. Also, Laura with Design Matters TV kind of gave me the nudge to do it with her video on over dyeing with indigo. So my goal for this session was to over dye previously dyed fabric and clothing with indigo.


If you have never dyed with indigo, I recommend buying this kit from Jacquard.  For more info, you can check out this blog post.


All you need to do is follow the directions, wait for about a half hour,  and then let the fun begin. I put Cat Steven’s Greatest Hits on the cd player, and started dyeing!

I did my actual dyeing in the garage, but after dyeing I put the dyed items in the sun.

I waited about 20 minutes before I opened them up.

I left them out in the sun until I was done with the cleanup. Then I rinsed to get most of the extra dye out and washed in hot water with two rinses.

Now for the results. First I’ll show you before and after pictures of clothing. These have all been previously dyed.

This is one of the very first shirt I iced dyed way back when. The design was okay, but it was getting old and I really didn’t like it anymore. I’d wear it to volunteer for our community dinners. It didn’t matter if I spilled something on it. Now with a little indigo, it’s a new shirt!!

This ice dyed poncho was also dyed many years ago when I first created the ice dyeing technique. It’s a beautiful piece (and was in both of my exhibits) but the colors just didn’t look good on me. I thought maybe indigo would mute the colors and I was right. But I still can see the printing on it although not as bright. I absolutely love it now and will wear it!

Here is another ice dyed one. Again the colors didn’t look that great on me. Over dyeing with indigo pretty much wiped out all of the colors. I like it, but not as much as the others.

For this last shirt I don’t have a before picture. This is another shirt I dyed quite awhile ago, and found it hidden in the back of my closet. It was pink and I had used Color Magnet with a wood printing block on it. You can still see the wood block pattern and some of the pink. I like this shirt much better too now, and even wore it yesterday – first time in years!

For the fabric I will be showing you how I folded it, and then the Before and After. Here is the first piece fan folded, and clipped with clothes pins. I love how the indigo calmed down the red in this piece.


Again fan folded, but this time from top to bottom, and lots of clothes pins.

Now to fan fold, flag fold, and add clothes pins. I love how the indigo added an interesting layer.

This one I twisted the fabric and added rubber bands. I think I might like the original piece better.

This one was fan folded, fan folded again, and then clothes pinned. Indigo didn’t do much for this one.

I didn’t take a picture of what I did. I fan folded, fan folded into a square just like the one above, then added two plexiglass circles with clamps.

This piece is my favorite. It was ice dyed with a Dharma muck dye called Covfefe. It’s a salmon color. I really didn’t think I’d ever use it. I’ll be using this piece for sure.

This is a great way to “fix” fabric you don’t like or are tired of. I felt that it did improve most of the pieces. Indigo is pretty magical. In addition to being able to watch the fabric turn from yellow green to indigo, it also seems to play nicely with all colors.

Have a great weekend! See you next week.