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Indigo Fresh Leaf Harvest, Pigment Extraction, and Dyeing

July 24 @ 9:00 am - July 25 @ 4:00 pm


Come experience the magic of natural indigo dye! Extracting blue pigment from the fresh green leaves of the indigo plant is a fascinating chemical process that you can do right here in New England. Students will learn the extraction process step by step. We will begin the day by harvesting fresh indigo leaves from the Sanborn Mills Farm Dye Garden. Watch as the leaves are soaked in warm water, releasing the blue pigment into a solution. Next the solution will be oxygenated and filtered to separate the pigment from the water. By the end of the second day, we will have a thick, dark blue “pudding” that is the indigo pigment. This can be dried and stored, or used immediately to make a vat for dyeing.

On the second day, we will make an indigo vat using previously dried pigment. Students will learn how to create a ferrous sulfate, or iron, vat to achieve the chemical reduction that enables dyeing. This will allow students to create vats at home using their own dried or purchased pigment. We will then dye materials in the iron vat. Several shibori, Japanese resist (tie-dye), techniques will be demonstrated. Students will dye and take home cloth pieces like placemats, napkins, and bandanas.

Students will take home their very own indigo plants and seeds from Sanborn Mills Farm.

Workshop Details

Instructor: Sara Goodman

Length: 2 Days

Skill Level: All

Hours: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Registration Cost: $250.00

Material Cost: Included in registration

Registration for all courses will open in April 2021.


Please read our COVID-19 Protocols prior to registering. 


July 24 @ 9:00 am
July 25 @ 4:00 pm
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Sanborn Mills Farm
7097 Sanborn Road
Loudon, NH 03307 United States
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