Monday, 30 May 2011

Fructose Vat -almost there.

I made up a 1:2::3 vat
15g indigo, 30g calcium hydroxide and 45g fructose
I made it up as as a small vat only 400ml and put it in a hot water bath to keep warm 

It started off a pale  blue colour with the indigo mixing with the calcium hydroxide and gradually reduced as you can see over about 15 minutes.   It dyed a piece of linen a pale blue then some silk also a pale blue.  I added 100ml of it to my vat of yesterday and got a very pale  greyish  blue but nothing else. Yesterday's vat was pH 9. The little vat was pH11+
Thanks to Leena and Debbie for suggestions.


  1. Hi Helen,
    That's sounding more like it. The recipe as it was given to me in my "private" lesson with Michel was:
    3ltrs hot water (he did say 80 degs, but that does sound too hot to me!)
    10g indigo
    20g calcium hydroxide
    30g fructose
    (that's the 1:2:3)it should come into order in 1/2 hour. When reviving the vat just add more hot water (he boiled the kettle and added some water in, but didn't do anything else) he also said if necessary add the peelings of fruit from say some jam making - if necessary, to aid reduction again.
    He did do the lesson in english and I did write the notes as he was explaining it, so I guess I was the luckiest of us all!I will try and find my sample of linen that he dyed and take a photograph - it wasn't very dark, he only left it in the vat for a couple of minutes, but very definitely blue.
    This was done the day after the open workshops that you all tried to attend!

  2. Hi Debbie
    Nice to have a recipe. I did not have one only the chemical formula he wrote. I certainly have been working in the dark from first principles without one and I am quite proud I got so far with just thinking about it and working it out for myself. My main problem as you can see was not knowing how much liquid to use . So nice to know.
    Yes I think you were lucky to have a private lesson Michael Garcia's vat was one of the two things I really wanted to learn about still I am off to the NEC to spend 3 days with him in August so hopefully I will learn a lot.
    At the moment I have reservations about the amount of debris at the bottom of the pot similar indeed to the zinc lime vat and also the very high pH.
    With regard to the temperature I think this is because fructose is quite slow -not as slow as zinc but certainly slower than thiourea dioxide and needs to be kept warm as it reduces. I had the same issue with the Zinc lime vat which although is a cold vat the stock solution has to be warm and kept warm while it is being made.

  3. That is almost the same as my 5g indigo, 10g calcium and 15g fructose in 1.5litres! Do you think this vat makes a lighter blue than others? I couldn't see the samples he was doing in the demo.....

  4. And I too, have reservations about the amount of debris - so glad that you found that too, Helen. Well, not glad exactly, but relieved to know it isn't just me.

  5. Oh, I can't wait to try this, but too busy with work and a move. It'll be one of the first things I do when we move.

  6. Hi Alison I hope the move goes well and soon you will be freer to do some nice fibre y things.