MEANS: Indigo p.1

Extraction from plant:
The next step is to oxygenate the liquor produced after fermentation. This was traditionally done in a series of vats. In the first the fermented leaves, lye and water were beaten with paddles and the liquid in which a blue precipitate was suspended was poured in to a second vat.  Being further beaten with fresh water and lye  more indigo formed and settled to the bottom of the vat.

After a series of such transfers, eventually  a bath of relatively pure water with a layer of non-soluble indigo at the bottom was achieved. The water was poured off and the purified indigo was allowed to dry into cakes which could be easily transported throughout the world.

Extraction from “Black Henna”
Eventually I discovered that the green powder sold as “Black Henna” is in fact partially fermented dried Indian True Indigo (I. tinctoria). This process used the follow steps:

    1. Buy ‘black henna’ which is actually ground indigo widely available online or at store specializing in natural dyes and beauty products. It is marketed as a hair and skin dye.

    2. Place this green powder in a cloth bag and pour hot water over it. This is more or less like brewing an indigo tea. Leave the bag in the jar to steep for 24 hours. You will end up with an intensely green liquor.