Since the indigo dye, when exposed to oxygen, is in an insoluble state, dyeing with indigo is not done in the traditional way. A continuously reducing vat is separately prepared using reducing sugars (like fructose, wheat bran, rice whiskey, et cetera) and pH balancing alkaline material (like soda, wood ash, lime et cetera). The sign of a ready vat is the presence of bubbles (that act as an oxygen barrier) and a metallic blue-green sheen on top. This can take about two weeks (depending upon the ingredients of the vat). The first dip in an indigo vat results is also a green shade that becomes blue as soon as it comes in contact with oxygen.