Color at Home

Images of a the home dyeing process of paper.

oxidized skin
Oxidized Skin

The oxidized skin on the top of the vat must be removed by stirring the vat and removing the resulting “flower”

indigo vat
Indigo color

Oxygen reacts with the surface of the indigo vat to form a thin film which displays the metallic gleam typical of indigo. Beneath this skin the vat should be green in color

second dip
Dark Blue

To get dark blue, the item must be dipped multiple times. This paper is about to undergo a second dip

paper green

The paper comes out of the vat green. Only upon exposure to air does the dye react with oxygen and turn blue

second dip
Second dip

Emerging from the second dip, this paper was first crumpled so that the color darkens where the fibers have broken along the crease line

paper after two dips
Hanging to dry

Paper after first and second dip