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What is indigo dyeing?

"About indigo building ②"

I would like to write a rough outline of the flow of "Aiken".

"Lye removal"
The first step is to take the lye used for indigo building. This lye is used for the management of indigo during and after indigo construction.

In order to remove a high-concentration alkaline solution, put fresh wood ash that has not been ashed for a long time into a container that matches the required amount, pour an appropriate amount of boiling water, and stir well.

After about 24 hours of stirring, transfer the supernatant to a storage container, pour boiling water over the remaining wood lye repeatedly, and take about 1 week to remove from No. 1 lye to No. 5-7 lye. During that period, lick the supernatant of the lye and check the alkali concentration. The high-concentration No. 1 lye has a tingling tongue and a strong bitter taste. Of course, there is no problem using instruments.

 The remaining wood ash can be used for glaze of pottery.

After this work was completed, I warmed the jars for a few days and finally started "Aiken".

I will start indigo building in the morning of Daiyasu Yoshiday, following the practice from my master. (It is a schedule that you do not have to work over the years, such as the New Year holidays.) Also, the sake used during the work is the one offered to "Aizen Myoo" enshrined in the room with the indigo jar. ..

I don't think it's all that dyers do, but I personally like this practice because it's a sacred possession, and I cherish it.



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