What I Do
Shalom! I am Azriel and I am fascinated with Woad blue! I started by planting my first crop of woad in 2013 and I have been sifting through techniques for dyeing with it, ever since.
My goal is for this website to be a resource for everything to do with Woad blue tekheleth, tying sisioth, as well as an outlet to supply affordably priced tekheleth dyed cords, fabric and tied sisith.
It has been 5 years since I first published this website. It's now January 2021 and I have just redone the whole site. In the last 5 years I have found new information, made improvements in my dyeing and discovered a new quality to the Woad dye that doesn't seem to be well known. Woad's colour continues to develop in the presence of oxygen. Over the last 3 years I have seen it go from a dark blue, as dark as I could dye it, to a beautiful, bright blue. No washing was done, the strings just sat openly in a basket, in a large cupboard, waiting to be tied. However, the pictures I have of my work really don't show the colour as acurately well as I'd like them to.
Then, even more amazing is that in certain lights it looks even bluer. Last evening I happened to look down at my sisioth and what I saw was an even more beautiful blue. How is that possible? To me it is like I am seeing something living, going through phases of change to become better. I just don't have any other way to describe it. Working with this dye is truly a pleasure and a joy for me.
I will continue to use this process of dyeing the materials as dark as I can, so it can develop into this remarkable blue. Anyone buying this will experience this developing too. If possible I will try to dye and store the materials for a few years, so that much of the beautiful blue will have already developed. You really are on a journey with me and I wonder what the next five years will reveal!
I have a Facebook page that can be used for discussions on everything to do with Woad blue tekheleth. I will use this to make announcements and updates as well. Click on the 'Like' button to receive updates. It is 'The Ancients' Blue'; https://www.facebook.com/ancientsblue
I invite you to click on the pictures to see a brighter, clearer image.
I would like to acknowledge and thank those that have been so helpful to me.
I first became interested in Woad because of post Hakham Avraham Ben-Rahamiël Qanaï, made for Woad's use in ancient Israel. I am very grateful that he took the time to make a compelling case for it's use. As a result, I decided that I should look for Woad seeds to grow. May his memory be a blessing and may he rest in shalom.
Thank you Shawn Lichaa, of The Karaite Jews of America and A Blue Thread, for encouraging me when I was starting and showing me that indeed there was a community that I needed! From interviewing me for a Blue thread, to offering to help me in any way I might need, your own passion for the Karaite movement is inspiring. I have been just a very small part amongst all of the projects you have worked to facilitate! May your passion ever burn brightly and may the work you do always be blessed by Elohim! Thank you for all you have done for so many years, we all have been blessed by it!
Thank you Matthew Roland for your work in bringing the 'how to' of the tying of the Karaite sisith to North America, for your unique pattern ideas and for helping me with making sisioth for the synagogue.
Thank you Zvi Zikhri for helping me with research, sharing your own passion for finding the real tekheleth and making sure I do it right :)!
Thank you to all the members of B'nai Israel for being so welcoming and gracious. It is with you that we have finally found our spiritual family!
I feel so humbled to have been given the opportunity to do this project. It seemed to just appear out of nowhere. Six years ago I never would have guessed that I would be soon making a website on Woad, and that it would have led our family to be where we are today. Thank you YHWH, Elohaynu, for all You have done for us. I am in awe, so grateful of where You have taken us over the last 34 years and how You have blessed us.
And so, to everyone else who has expressed support and appreciation for this work, thank you! During the long hours of experimenting and struggling to improve, it helped me to persevere.