Yamato Indigo is a Japanese natural-blend indigo powder dye. Easy to use, Yamato Indigo only needs water; no additional agents, heating, or fermentation process is necessary. It dyes natural materials, such as cotton, linen, silk, leather, wood, and washi paper, into a vibrant, beautiful indigo blue.
Yamato Indigo comes in the form of a power consisting of extracts from indigo plants, chemical indigo, alkaline agent, and reducing agent. By mixing it with water, it instantly becomes ready to dip and use as a dye.
- How to dye leather, wood or other material
- The history behind Yamato Indigo
Press on Yamato Indigo
10g dye pack $16 / 50g dye pack $52
Starter Kit $48
10g of Yamato Indigo, 3 tenugui (Japanese cotton tea towels), wood sticks, rubber bands, a pairs of gloves
Discount for bulk order and wholesale are available.
Please inquire by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org
How to dye cotton or silk with Yamato Indigo
1. Mix 3 to 5 grams of Yamato Indigo per 1 liter of water. Stir well for 1 to 2 minutes. The indigo vat will be ready to use instantly.
2. Skim off any bubbles from the surface of the vat.
3. Put on rubber gloves. First, rinse the fabric or clothing item you wish to dye in water, squeeze well, then dip it in the indigo vat for 5 to 10 minutes. Make sure to submerge the entire fabric in the vat. Massage the fabric in the vat for a darker, more even result.
(In order to add shibori patterns, tie the piece using rubber bands, wood pieces and/or twines before rinse it in water)
4. Take the fabric out of the vat, squeeze out the dye liquid well, and expose for 10 minutes to the air in order for the dye to oxidize. The fabric may appear green at first, but it will soon turn blue as it oxidizes. Make sure the entire surface of the fabric is exposed to the air in order for it to fully oxidize.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 if you wish to dye your fabric an even darker blue color.
6. Rinse the fabric in water until the water runs clear. If shibori (tie-dye) is added, submerge the piece in water before you take off the tie-dye.
7. Mix 50cc of regular vinegar (or 5cc of acetic acid) per 1 liter of water. Dip the fabric into the vinegar water for 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse in water again and dry naturally.
After the indigo liquid is weakened, add 1.5 grams of caustic soda (soda ash) and sodium hydrosulfite per 1 liter of water and stir well. The dye should come back strong. Make sure to add vinegar to the dye before draining.
Hot to dye wool
How to dye leather, wood or other materials
*Leather has to be natural before dyeing it, otherwise it won’t dye well. The results of how well your leather dyes also depends on how the leather has been treated or tanned.
1. Mix 5g of Yamato Indigo powder per 1 liter of water, and make a vat large enough to soak your leather piece.
2. Dip the leather for 5 minutes. Do not massage the leather too much in the vat.
3. Take the leather out of the vat, and leave it to oxidize for 5 to 10 minutes.
4. Mix vinegar with a bucket of water. The vinegar water should be stronger than what is needed to dye cotton or silk fabric (approx. pH4). Dip the dyed leather piece into the vinegar water for 5 to 10 minutes.
5. Dry the leather (It may take up to a few days to be fully dried). Make sure to shape the piece when it is drying, otherwise the leather will get distorted.
6. The leather will stiffen after being soaked in water and dried. Use leather oil or another agent to soften and coat the leather.
- You will need to use approximately 5% Yamato Indigo per the weight of your fabric. For example, if you are dyeing a T-shirt that weights 100g, you would need 5g of Yamato Indigo in order to produce a mid-to-dark blue color.
- Yamato Indigo does not dye synthetic materials.
- When dyeing brand new fabric, make sure to wash it beforehand in hot water for even better results.
- The indigo vat may be kept for up to one week if it is sealed well and not exposed to the air.
- Please keep your Yamato Indigo powder dye dry and use within a year of purchase for best results.
- Yamato Indigo powder dye is not edible. We recommend you wear gloves and clothes that you do not mind getting stained, and use the dye in a ventilated place. In the event the dye gets in your eyes or mouth, rinse out immediately.
Frequently asked questions
Q. What does Yamato Indigo consist of?
A. Yamato Indigo consists of extracts from indigo plants (natural indigo), chemical indigo, alkaline agent, and reducing agent.
Q. Does it need to be heated?
A. To dye cotton and silk, Yamato Indigo does not need to be heated.
Q. Does the dye come or rub off?
A. After dying, make sure to rinse your garment well, as the indigo may still come off or rub off on other white garments. Avoid washing it with whites. The indigo color will fade over time; this is unavoidable of almost any indigo dyed fabric.
Q. Is it safe for pregnant women to use?
A. Yes, it is safe for pregnant women to use. Please make sure to wear gloves.
The history behind Yamato Indigo
Yamato Indigo was invented by Aikuma Senryo, a company founded in 1818 in Tokyo. It was founded as a Chinese herbal apothecary, and later started to supplying dyeing supplies. In the 1870’s, when indigo was still exceptionally valuable, Aikuma Senryo developed a method to extract the indigo pigments from old indigo-dyed fabric by boiling the fabric in water, and creating a clayey dye called “airou” (indigo wax). Based on this method of making “airou,” the company created Yamato Indigo, a powder dye consisting of extracts from indigo plants, chemical indigo, alkaline agent, and reducing agent.