Aug 10, 2024 - August 11, 2024(9am - 5pm)

Indigo Weekend

Taught by: Sara Goodman

This two-day class is a wonderful introduction to the magical experience of working with indigo — a dye unlike all the others. On the first day we will begin in the Sanborn Mills dye garden, harvesting fresh indigo leaves to dye silk scarves a brilliant turquoise blue. We will also extract indigo pigment from these fresh leaves. Then, using indigo extract powder, students will learn how to make an iron vat with extract, ferrous sulfate, and slaked lime (calcium hydroxide.) This is the easiest and most stable of the natural vats and is a good place to begin an exploration of dyeing with natural indigo. A smaller 1-2-3 vat will also be made using fructose as the reducing agent. Some basic shibori techniques and a process of using a clay paste resist will be taught for making patterns on cloth. Students will have the opportunity to dye 3 cotton bandanas, as well as a piece of natural fiber clothing they have brought with them, using these techniques, in the indigo vats.

Skills and Techniques:

  • Dye a silk scarf with fresh indigo leaves harvested from the SMF dye garden
  • Extract pigment from the fresh indigo leaves
  • Learn how to make an indigo iron vat with powdered indigo extract, ferrous sulfate, and slaked lime
  • Learn how to make a 1-2-3 indigo iron vat with powdered indigo extract, fructose, and slaked lime
  • Learn how to use and maintain the vats over time.
  • Learn some basic shibori techniques.
  • Learn how to use clay resist paste for making designs on cloth.
  • Dye 3 cotton bandanas
  • Over dye one piece of natural fiber clothing brought from home.


 Materials Fee: $40 paid directly to instructor.

Special Tools or Equipment: Students are invited to bring one piece of natural fiber clothing that they would like to over dye with indigo. Wash it in hot water and dish detergent in preparation for dyeing.

Workshop Policies: Please be sure to read our policies before you register for a workshop which can be found here Workshop Policies

Workshop Fee: $270.00

6 in stock

(please choose all meals if you are staying on campus.)
We ask students to purchase a meal plan. Our chef can accommodate most dietary needs so please note any restrictions you want us to be aware of on the checkout page.