This is a pot in the backyard. The seeds I sowed in the sunny veggie patch are not doing well at all, but a neighbor cat has dug up the soil twice already, and it may be the cause.
This is a different plant from the Indigo we have in the US. Both yield blue dye, but the Japanese indigo leaves can be used alone, crushed, to dye, where the Indigofera tinctoria requires fermentation before it can be used. Last summer I read so much about the fun of Indigo raw leaf dyeing on several Japanese blogs, so I wanted to try.
Here's what I found on Youtube. In case you understand Japanese, the narration is actually talking about dyeing with safflower, but you are actually seeing the Indigo fresh leaf dyeing. Note the aeration, then re-dip. Added bonus: you get to see the making of a silk cap, and at the end you'll see a beautiful pink kimono dyed with safflower. Enjoy!
Doesn't it look funny?
Mitch (another long-term project) and I went to the beach last Saturday. It was a perfect day on the beach. He said he had "the bestest day ever." I totally agree.