Craft Product Review: Indigo Dye by Jacquard Products

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I’m intrigued by dyeing fabric. I quilt, and I was told once by a prominent quilter that once I started dyeing my own fabrics, I would be hooked and never go back. Sometimes, though, you need to dye fabric for a more practical reason- to hide a stain or restore color to denim. For all of these reasons I was intrigued by the Indigo Tie Dye kit by Jacquard Products.

The it is described on the website:

This kit brings the ancient art of indigo dyeing to the home dyer in a user-friendly formulation. Indigo dye, which comes from a plant, is one of the oldest dyes used for coloring fabrics and the one still used today to color blue jeans. This natural dye process has long been used in many cultures around the world. The unique characteristics of indigo dyeing make it easy to create wonderful resist patterns on fabric. With a resurgence of interest in indigo and ethnic patterning in the fashion world, this kit is sure to be a winner! For ages 8+. Dyes up to 15 yards/5 lbs. of fabric or 15 T-shirts. Dye bath lasts for several weeks.

I cracked open the kit, and this is what you see:

The first step was to set up the dye bath or “vat.” The dye itself if a coarse granulated powder.

Since I don’t have a 5 gallon bucket, I used a plastic storage container I had on hand. There really isn’t any special measuring or mixing, just add all of the ingredients into the container with warm water.

Then I prepared some fabrics for dyeing. Some I did in the traditional “tie dye” method, others I dipped, and others I submerged for all-over color.

I tied up some knits shirts (tanks, baby onesies) some batik fabric, and some commercially printed quilter’s cotton.

Now…. here’s a little video about how the dye looked.

I needed to wait for a “bloom.” Since I’m a novice dyer, I had no idea what that meant. As I watched the dye vat, though, this thick, bubbly- almost yeasty- floated film rose to the surface. You need to skim that off to get the “cleanest” dye job.

What is super-cool is that the dye itself looks chartreuse- it comes out of the dye bath greenish-yellow, and as the dye is exposed to the air, it starts to turn a lovely indigo blue. Here is a quick picture I snapped of a piece I took right out of the vat- in the background, you can see some pieces that had been oxidizing for a while.

In just five minutes, that green turned a deep blue and I cut open the rubber bands. Check how it turned out on this baby snap suit:

Now, I wanted to wash everything and machine dry it so I could compare how the colors turned out. Here’s that same snap suit after the washing/drying, along with a tank top I tie dyed:

You can see that the color faded just a wee bit, but the effect is still brilliant.

Want to see some other examples?

Canvas Tote- dipped

Sailcloth curtain (top) Quilters cotton bottom left, dipped muslin bottom right.

But wait- there’s more! You can also dye wood and paper, too. Here’s a Longaberger basket I dip-dyed.

Now, I decided to lay some paper on top of the vat… I got some of that “bloom” and dyed manilla paper, watercolor paper, and even glossy cardstock!

I can’t wait to cut up the paper and fabrics and get started on a few projects.

I’m also more than a little hooked. I couldn’t resist re-dying my old jean jacket. (I’ve had it since high school and it was WAY faded.)

It looks almost new!

The bath is good for several weeks- so I’m going to keep playing and see what else I can dye.

Now… I have to admit, there are a few “cons”- it is rather messy (yes, you will need those rubber gloves as well as several rags to mop up spills.) My daughter also mentioned that it was “stinky.” (Yes, there is an odor, and I suggest you run a fan or work outside if you can.) However, the kit retails for under $15 USD, and for all of the shirts, curtains, pillowcases, etc, etc, that you can dye, it’s quite a bargain. I also love that you can use and re-use it for several weeks- you don’t have to do your entire dying job in just one batch.

SO… I’m kinda hooked. What would YOU dye?

Disclosure: sample provided for review.

If you are considering purchasing Indigo Dye by Jacquard, I hope you’ll use CTD affiliate links:

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About Jenny Barnett Rohrs

Chief Craft Test Dummy, Craft Evangelist, Founder, Editor, bottle-washer, trouble-maker, and creative whirlwind.

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19 Responses to “Craft Product Review: Indigo Dye by Jacquard Products”

  1. Brandi Says:

    I would dye some sort of spinning fiber. I noticed most of the items you dyed were cotton(with the exception of the basket). So probably vegatable based fibers or silk. Can you dye protein fibers (eg. wool, mohair, alpaca) with this?

  2. Bev Says:

    I must give this a try on cardstock…sounds easy to do. Isn’t it weird how the color changes from chartreuse to greenish yellow to indigo after it is exposed to air? Thanks for sharing another well written review.

  3. Kat Says:

    Wow! What you’ve done is spectacular! Did you try fabric that already had color? How about yarn? I can see a cool set of sheets done tie-dyed, or hemp baskets, or- geez. This is a great product. Thanks for all your (fun) work!

  4. Jenny Says:

    Kat- I tried a grey tank, a blue commercial printed quilter’s cotton, and a yellow batik. With the batik and tank, it basically discharged the color from the fabrics (cotton/knit.) With the printed blue fabric, it overdyed the base color and made the fabric darker blue but left the patterning. SO much fun!

  5. Jenny Says:

    Bev- thanks so much for the compliment. I LOVE the papers…. going to try some weaving with them, I think! -Jenny

  6. Jenny Says:

    Brani- I’ll try some wool roving and let you know! -Jenny

  7. Valerie Says:

    Oh wow, what cool results. And the fact you can reuse the dye over a couple weeks? Talk about a great deal! :)

  8. Denise P Says:

    I’d probably take your sample of onesies and/or kiddo t-shirts. I really like that idea and can even coupon them at local craft stores. I LOVE how your onesie came out!

  9. samantha ruscoe Says:

    well, I would save this for early summer and then have my kids gather up beloved clothes that have stains, old sneakers, bedding, home decor, stray pets (kidding!) jewelery, sticks…. we’d have an indigo summer!

  10. Angela LeBlanc Says:

    I have a few pairs of jeans that have faded that could use some sprucing up, not to forget I have 4 nephew and 3 nieces that love tie dye shirts, well so do I.I also want to do a table cloth that is just ugly,blue would be just the right color to change it’s look.I could put it to many good and useful uses.

  11. Caryn S. Says:

    I have seen these Jacquard dye kits before, on one of my favorite yarn sites. One thing I would love to do with this is (once I have tried my hand at spinning!) to dye bare yarn, specifically dip dyeing! I have never tried that technique before and it seems like it would be so much fun to do with yarn and see the patterns that result from it when knit. I’d also probably dip dye some things for my kids, I figure they have enough tie dye and they would probably appreciate doing something different.

  12. Becki C. Says:

    I would make some interesting dyed fabric to sew a skirt out of and use some for dying some yarn… Thanks for an opportunity to put my name in the draw.

  13. Becki C. Says:

    Entry #2 I posted on the Jacquard’s FB wall…as I’d already “Liked” them previously… Thank you for an opportunity to have a second entry… B.

  14. Becki C. Says:

    My third and last entry for having subscribed to the Jacquard page on You Tube. Wowzers, you are the best for letting us have three opportunities to put our name in the hat. Warm smiles, Bek

  15. ellen Says:

    The first thing I’s try would be some older jeans, then your charming card trick, then maybe some socks and old boring towels.

  16. Dee M. Says:

    Love the review & all the wonderful ideas as to how you can use it. I love using jacquard paints and pearl x . So , if I won this kit , I just brought some shirts I wanted to dye before I deconstructed so this would be perfect to use on them. I’m also their friend on fb. Thank you for the giveaway.

  17. Dee M. Says:

    I have left comment on their page . Entry number 2 . Ty! Again

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