Today I forayed into another type of indigo vat. I had a little package of pre-reduced indigo crystals that a mail order company had sent me as a free gift the first time I placed an order with them. I called the company to ask if it was natural or synthetic indigo. I left a message but got no reply. I looked up the indigo on their website and it was listed under Natural Dyes so I reasoned that it must be the former. As I was mixing up the vat, it wasn't turning the yellowish green that it was supposed to so I again called the company. This time I spoke with a gentleman "in the know" and he suggested a remedy. I asked him about the nature of the dye and he unequivocally answered, "It's completely synthetic." Well, I'd already started so decided to continue but only dye a small amount of table napkins I'd prepared with shibori bundling. Wow! The dye worked quickly and well! Dark, dark blue, immediately. It was stinky and messy and I ended up with blue stains everywhere, but the results were beautiful. I haven't washed out the goods yet, but they could easily lose a few shades and still be dark blue. But I want to major in natural, plant based dyes. It's tempting to use the easy route, but ultimately, for me, not as satisfying. So it's back to the organic vat and to learning. how to improve my results. Fortunately, I learned today that Michel Garcia, a world-renowned expert in natural dyeing, will be teaching a week long workshop in Minneapolis in July. I signed up immediately!